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Full text of "John Stevens' courtship. A story of the Echo Canyon War"

THE UPPER LAKE, BIG COTTONWOOD CANYON. 



John Stevens' Courtship. 



A STORY OF THE 
ECHO CANYON WAR. 



By SUSA YOUNG GATES 



Salt Lke City. Utah. 

THE DESERET NEWS. 

1909, 



COPYRIGHT 

BY 

SUSA YOUNG GATES 
1909 



TO 

THAT OTHER JOHN, TO DIAN HERSELF, 
AND TO WALTER, 

THE THREE FRIENDS WHO HAVE MADE "JOHN STEVENS" POSSIBLE, 
THIS BOOK IS AFFECTIONATELY DEDICATED 



2090474 




PREFACE. 

STORY of love, in the rugged setting of 
pioneer days, is the theme of this book. 
The characters of the story move among 
the stirring incidents of the Echo Can- 
yon War an affair absolutely unique in the his- 
tory of the land. The scenes and events depict 
faithfully the conditions that, according to the 
historians Tullidge, Whitney and Bancroft pre- 
vailed in and about the Territory of Utah during 
the period of the "War." Much information has 
also been gathered from Vol. II of the Contrib- 
utor and from numerous pioneers who recall viv- 
idly the intensity of feeling that characterized the 
days of "Johnston's Army" and "the Move." The 
characters of the story are, of course, mainly fic- 
titious and have had an existence only in the 
author's mind. John Stevens is a composite; his 
outer appearance was faintly suggested by an ob- 
scure character of pioneer days; many pioneers 
knew and will recognize Aunt Clara ; Diantha was 
modeled after a woman yet living in the prime of 
her life. 

Young people often think that romance and 
thrilling episodes, for which youth hungers, are 
not found within daily life; and frequently go to 
perilous lengths in search for that which in fact is 
right at home. An avowed purpose of this book 



vi PREFACE 

is to show that there is plenty of romance and 
color in every-day life if the eye be not life-color- 
blind. If, therefore, John Stevens, with his big, 
generous heart can awaken the soul of one youth to 
a higher courage, a more manly outlook upon the 
splendidly hard discipline of pioneer Western life ; 
if Diantha's suffering and sweet Ellen's sad death 
help just one vacillating girl to a realization of the 
dangers with which the path of love and youth are 
always strewn, then indeed will the author be sat- 
isfied. The last two chapters were written at the 
solicitation of Diantha herself. She begged that 
the "girls" might be made to see how sweet and 
enthralling true, pure and sanctified married affec- 
tion can be. 

It is fitting that acknowledgment be here made 
of the careful and helpful service rendered by the 
many friends who have read, re-read, suggested, 
corrected, approved, criticized and molded "John 
Stevens" into a somewhat passable shape. To 
these friends, grateful thanks. 

The pioneer days were days of beauty and rich 
emotions. That their memory should be perpetu- 
ated is the author's chief justification for the writ- 
ing of this book. 

SUSA YOUNG GATES. 
Salt Lake City, July 24, 1909. 



CONTENTS 

I. The Picnic in the Wasatch 1 

II. Diantha Forgets John 15 

III. "Come and Kiss Yoo Papa" 36 

IV. The Echo Down the Canyon 41 

V. "The Army is Upon Us" 51 

VI. Who Shall Fear Man? 59 

VII. Van Arden Enters the Valley 70 

VIII. The Winthrops Entertain 77 

IX. John Opens His Mouth 95 

X. In Echo Canyon 107 

XI. "In the Valley or Hell" 123 

XII. The Friend of Brigham Young 128 

, XIII. Diantha Wears Charlie's Ring 139 

XIV. "To Your Tents, O Israel!" 154 

XV. I'm a Mormon Dyed in the Wool. . . . 161 

XVI. The Peace Commissioners 172 

XVII. Brother Dunbar Sings Zion 177 

XVIII. The Army Enters the Valley 190 

XIX. Tom Allen Dreams a Dream 198 

XX. A Soldier in Distress 208 

XXI. John Visits Ellen 222 

XXII. If You Love Me, John 225 

XXIII. Down by the Riverside 239 

XXIV. Ellie's Second Warning 246 

XXV. "Do You Care for John Stevens?". . . .250 

XXVI. Col. Saxey Expostulates 255 



viii CONTENTS 

XXVII. Christmas Eve, 1858 265 

XXVIII. The Ball in the Social Hall 272 

XXIX. Diantha's Sudden Awakening. . .277 

XXX. Dian is True to Her Resolve 288 

XXXI. John also Resolves 292 

XXXII. "Sour Grapes" 300 

XXXIII. Where is Ellen? 307 

XXXIV. Is She at the Chase Mill? 314 

XXXV. On to Provo 320 

XXXVI. At Camp Floyd 328 

XXXVII. Dead or Disgraced? 334 

XXXVIII. Sego-Lilies 339 

XXXIX. The Wooing O't 345 

XL. John Builds a Home 361 

XLI. Diantha Enters 365 

XLII. Home, Sweet Home 370 



John Stevens' Courtship. 



THE PIC-NIC IN THE WASATCH 



D 



IANTHY, how are you going up the can- 
yon? Are you going with me and your 
brother?" 

"No, I think not, Rachel. I promised 
to go with John Stevens. And the very next day 
Henry Boyle asked me to go with him; wasn't 
that a shame?" 

"Wasn't what a shame? That Henry should 
have the impudence to ask you to go with him? 
I should think he'd find out after awhile that you 
are not in love with him and never will be." 

"I'm sure I can't tell how you know so much 
about me and my affairs, Rachel. I haven't told 
any one I am or I am not in love with Henry 
Boyle. And I can't see how it is that you have 
such a prejudice against Henry. I'm sure you 
can't find any fault with him. He's a perfect gen- 
tleman far more civilized and polite than a whole 
town full of men like like well like many of 
our Utah boys. And he's ambitious, too; wants to 
make something of himself; which is more than 
some of our boys do. Just see how he came here 



2 JOHN STEVENS' COURTSHIP 

from England two years ago ; left his home and all 
his relatives, and in less than a year worked up till 
he got the position of clerk in Livingston and Kin- 
caid's store." 

"Exactly ! And now he is a gentleman in very 
deed, for he wears store clothes every day in the 
week, and the finest worked ladies' buckskin 
gloves on Sunday. What more does he require to 
be a gentleman?" 

"See here, Rachel, I want you to answer me one 
question. Do you, or does my brother Appleton, 
know anything wrong about Henry Boyle? Isn't 
he a 'Mormon,' in good standing and repute? 
Doesn't he pay his tithes and donations, and at- 
tend his meetings regularly ? What more can you 
ask?" 

"Oh, Dian,^ you wear me out completely. Stick 
to your 'Enery, if you want to; but he'll never 
amount to a row of pins. He's a real namby-pamby 
man; and that is about all he is likely to be. I 
should think you'd want a being witn some life 
and spirit." 

"Like John Stevens, perhaps. Well, I've never 
seen any evidence of this wonderful life and spirit 
you folks are always talking about, in John Stev- 
ens. The only fiery thing about John, that I've 
ever discovered, is his red beard." 

With a half sarcastic smile, the girl dusted the 
last speck of flour from her cotton apron, went to 
the wash bench and calmly washed the flour and 



THE PIC-NIC IN THE WASATCH 3 

tiny bits of dough from her hands; then, drawing 
a clean cloth over her wooden bread trough, she 
set it on the kitchen table for the night. 

Rachel Winthrop sighed as she watched these 
proceedings and hushed her baby to sleep, in the 
small, yet comfortable rush-bottomed rocker, 
which was such a luxury in early Utah days. She 
admired and loved her husband's youngest sister, 
with all the strength of her affectionate soul ; and 
she yearned with the tenderness of a mother 
over that indifferent, self-centered, yet handsome 
and sensible young person. 

"I don't wonder that men admire you, Dianthy," 
she said, at last. "You're a fine looking girl." 

"You mean I've pretty good taste in fixing my- 
self up. People wouldn't admire me so much if 
they saw me 'off parade' a few times. It's my 
clothes and the way I put them on that wakens 
admiration, Rachel. Just look at my nose !" 

She stood a moment, with her arms akimbo, her 
face tilted as she tried to squint with half-closed 
eyes down at the offending organ. 

"There's nothing the matter with your nose, 
Dianthy, only it's got a patch of flour on the side 
of it just now. But come, I must put baby to bed, 
so we can finish up, or we'll never be ready to start 
in the morning." 

It was the evening of the 21st of July, 1857. 
All Salt Lake was astir with preparations for the 
famous outing to Big Cottonwood Canyon, where 



4 JOHN STEVENS' COURTSHIP 

the Twenty-fourth Pioneer day was to be spent. 
Candles sputtered and burned down, were snuffed 
and finally replaced with new ones, as the women 
of the young city worked hard yet happily the 
night through, baking great banks of pies and 
loaves upon loaves of tender, yellow cakes ; cook- 
ing beef, lamb and chickens ; roasting young pigs 
before the open fire, in the brick ovens, or in one 
of the few step-stoves. Serviceberry preserves, 
and plenty of thick amber-colored molasses were 
stored in all the pails and jars obtainable. Such 
creamy-brown loaves of yeast or "salt-rising" 
bread; such pots of sweet, yellow butter; such 
crisp doughnuts and delicate "dutch cheese," 
never before had been seen in such profusion dur- 
ing the brief ten years' history of the Great Salt 
Lake Valley. 

As Rachel Winthrop laid the child in its cradle 
and prepared to finish her ironing of print dresses 
and blue chambrey sunbonnets, the young girl, 
who had pulled down her sleeves and adjusted her 
collar, went slowly out at the front door, as if 
watching for someone. Then, turning back into 
the sitting-room, she seated herself at the sma?l 
melodeon in the corner, and began to play softly. 
Her touch upon the tiny ivory keys was very sym- 
pathetic and musical. Waltzes and schottisches 
poured out in mellow harmony upon the heated 
waves of the July evening. Then, as if filled to the 
full with the spirit of music that she had invoked, 



THE PIC-NIC IN THE WASATCH 5 

she lifted up her voice in song. "Shells of the 
Ocean" and "Rock Me to Sleep, Mother," be- 
trayed a quality of tenderness in the soul that the 
somewhat proud exterior did not warrant- 

"Oh, Dian," called her sister-in-law, "why do 
you sing such mournful songs? You give me the 
creeps." 

"Do I?" asked the girl. "I wasn't thinking ; but 
someway, I feel sad tonight, just as if something 
were going to happen." 

"Something is, Dian ; we are all invited by Pres- 
ident Young to spend the Twenty-fourth in Big 
Cottonwood Canyon. And there's lots to do be- 
fore we go to bed." 

"Just one song then, to cheer us up, Rachel, for 
the evening's work" and the gay voice trilled out 
the rollicking changes of "We All Wear Cloaks," 
and ended with the evening hymn, "Come, Come, 
Ye Saints, No Toil Nor Labor Fear." Before 
she had finished the first stanza of the hymn, her 
brother, Bishop Winthrop, had added his musical 
bass, and the sixteen year old Harvey was putting 
in a fair tenor and playing the air as well on his 
concertina. Rachel herself sang the alto. Then, 
with a quiet reverence, the Bishop said, "Let us 
have prayers." 

The quiet of the night closed in with starry radi- 
ance upon the little family, the children asleep, 
while the women worked, conversing in subdued 
voices. Few were the hours of sleep that memor- 



JOHN STEVENS' COURTSHIP 

able night in Great Salt Lake City, for most of its 
citizens, to the number of three thousand, had 
been invited to spend the day at the headwaters of 
the Big Cottonwood stream, in the little dell far 
up in the tops of the countains. All the city was 
astir to assist in the unusual festivity. 

In the morning, the Winthrop household was 
boiling and bubbling in the excitement and heat of 
preparation. 

"Dian," said the distracted Rachel, "you go out 
to the wagon and get the Bishop to put in all those 
things that I have laid at the side of the appletree." 

Out in the back yard could be heard the fre- 
quent small explosions that preceded such scenes 
in the Winthrop household. 

"What's all this trash, Diantha? Does Rachel 
think we are going to cross the plains again? She's 
got enough stuff here to feed an army and to house 
a regiment," this as the Bishop selected various 
of the bundles and bales sent for the wagon's sup- 
ply. "Who on earth but Rachel would ever think 
of carting a heavy wooden tub, flat irons and pop- 
corn up Big Cottonwood? Popcorn on a picnic! 
And she's actually got a feather bed in this pile! 
Humph!" and the snort of disgust ended only as 
he tossed the bed back into the crotch of the 
young apple tree. 

"Now, Appleton, that bed must go, so just do be 
good and let's not waste time this way. Here ; it 
can go right on top of the boxes and we'll have it 



THE PIC-NIC IN THE WASATCH 7 

handy for the children to sit on," Dian worked as 
she talked, for she knew how little value to attach 
to the warmth of her brother on such occasions. 
"Here, Harvey, pack that shovel into the crevice 
there, will you?" 

"Shovels on a picnic ! Does she think we are go- 
ing to locate mines? And rakes! My soul, but 
we will never get up the canyon with this load. 
You'll all have to walk, I'll tell you that." 

"All but the baby and Rachel, Appleton. I am 
going to ride in John Stevens' wagon, with Aunt 
Clara and Ellie Tyler." 

"Is that so, Dian? Well, that's fine." And in 
the pleasure of this announcement, the Bishop 
stowed away most of the things awaiting their 
turn on the grass. 

"Salt ! Why, Dian, there's twenty pounds of salt 
in this sack," and the Bishop fairly shouted in as- 
tonishment. "Salt by the bushel! Does Rachel 
imagine we are going out to pickle meat? There's 
salt enough for three thousand people, to last them 
a week." 

"Exactly, Appleton ; you know well enough that 
other people forget things, and Rachel has to be 
general commissary for the crowd," calmly replied 
her unmoved defender. 

"Upon my word ! Do you mean that I am to be 
made a general pack-horse to carry all the forgot- 
ten things for other people?" 

"Appleton," this was said skilfully, and by way 



8 JOHN STEVENS' COURTSHIP 

of diversion, "are we to have a dancing pavilion 
up there?" 

"Two of them, Dian. And I don't want you 
sky-larking off with all the young men in the com- 
pany, if you are to go with John Stevens. You 
won't get another chance like John, let me tell you. 
A member of the legislature, a man without fault 
or blemish, and as good as God ever made a man." 

"There's the rub, brother. I'm not good enough 
for such a paragon. And I don't like paragons." 

"You're an obstinate girl, Diantha." 

The girl laughed merrily, now that she had 
diverted the attention of her irascible brother to 
herself, for he had packed away even the despised 
salt, and was putting in the tent poles and tents on 
top of the other bulky but light loading, while they 
were talking. 

"Come, Rachel, we're all done. What are you 
laughing about?" sang out the Bishop. "Are 
you ready to start?" 

His wife emerged from the house, all smiles, and 
with a cup of cool buttermilk to refresh the weary 
husband, who had dealt so generously with her 
packing arrangements. 

"Thank you, Dian," she said softly, as the girl 
hurried into the house to complete her own prep- 
arations. 

It was in the early afternoon of that day, when 
a double team the wagon fitted with bows, but 
the cover folded in the bottom of the wagon box 



THE PIC-NIC IN THE WASATCH 9 

drew up to the Winthrop house with great dash 
and clatter.. Four good spring seats rattled emp- 
tily as the driver threw on his brake and gave a 
loud "Hello" to the people inside. 

The front door opened and Bishop Winthrop 
came out. 

"Dian will be ready in a moment, John. I an 
glad she is going with you, for I know you'll take 
good care of her." 

"Just as good as she'll let me," the young man 
smiled down at his friend. 

"Oh, Dianthy's all right, only she's a little high- 
spirited. Give her plenty of time, John; you can 
afford to wait," said the elder man, in confidential 
tones. 

At that moment Diantha herself came out with 
her two nieces, and looking at the empty seats, she 
asked, "Where's Ellen Tyler going to ride? I'll 
sit with her." 

"All right," answered the young man calmly 
"Only you'll have to sit three in a seat, as Charlie 
Rose put that middle seat in for himself and 
Ellen." 

John sat patiently waiting for the girl to make 
up her mind, and not offering to assist her in. Per- 
haps his horses were fractious. At any rate, he 
sat watching them, now and then flicking a fly 
from them, apparently indifferent as to the result 
of the girl's decision. 

"I suppose I shall have to ride in front, then," 



10 JOHN STEVENS' COURTSHIP 

Dian murmured, and began climbing over the 
wheel, "although I like to be invited to sit by 
young men." 

"You may sit on the back seat if you want to, 
and let either Aunt Clara or Tom Allen or either 
of the two little girls, Lucy or Josephine, sit here," 
said John, as he smiled down into her averted face, 
his gray eyes flashing with suppressed amuse- 
ment. 

"No, thank you. I've had trouble enough to 
get where I am, without any help ; I don't care to 
climb any more. Get in, girls," she added. 

"Where are you going now, John?" asked Dian- 
tha, as they drove off at last. 

"For the rest of the folks ;" and away they clat- 
tered and rattled, the horses requiring careful 
handling, they were so full of eager life. 

John drove rapidly to the home of Aunt Clara 
Tyler, where he was to find the others of his party. 

A moment's wait, and then Ellen Tyler came 
out, followed by the others. Her brown curls 
fell from under the white sunbonnet which sur- 
rounded her face like a ruffled halo. The delicate 
cream of her skin but made the glowing brown 
eyes and the scarlet lips the lovelier by contrast. 
Her pretty teeth gleamed through the curved 
line of parted lips as she .bounded smiling- 
ly down the flower-bordered path. She had a 
great bunch of spice pinks and blue bachelor but- 
tons in her hand, and as she reached the wagon 



THE PIC-NIC IN THE WASATCH 11 

she threw the blue blossoms into Dian's lap, say- 
ing gleefully, "These belong to you, Dian." 

"Why?" cried out Charlie Rose, who stood wait- 
ing for his partner, at the wheel, "do you think 
Dian is destined to be a blue-stocking or will she 
marry an old bachelor?" and the young man 
sprang gracefully to assist Ellen to her place. 

"Dian's never blue herself, and so she may have 
my bluest flowers," said Ellen, as she leaned over 
the seat to give her friend a good-morning kiss. 

Fat and jolly Tom Allen had thoughtfully 
brought out a chair on which stout and kindly 
Aunt Clara could climb safely into the back seat 
with him. Lucy Winthrop and Josephine Ty- 
ler, as inseparable childish friends, occupied the 
other seat. 

Soon all were seated ; the plethoric baskets were 
disposed of; and the merry party dashed through 
the tree-bordered streets, John Stevens managing 
his double team with the skill of long practice. 

Just at the edge of the town a young man 
galloped up on horse-back, and raised his straw 
hat gracefully to the ladies, reined in his borse 
near Diantha Winthrop, and sat on his trotting 
steed in true English style. Diantha greeted the 
young man as Brother Boyle; and at once gayly 
devoted her attention to him, ignoring her partner, 
John Stevens, with girlish obliviousness. 

There was a great clattering of wheels and 
many gay jests, with gusts of youthful laughter 



12 JOHN STEVENS' COURTSHIP 

floating out from that wagon-load of happy hilar- 
ity. The placid Aunt Clara Tyler looked on from 
her vantage point in the back seat, with sympa- 
thetic companionship. They overtook and passed 
scores and hundreds of teams, all traveling in the 
same direction. And each party was given, as 
they passed, the greetings of long friendships and 
mutual pleasures- 

When they reached the rendezvous at the mouth 
of Big Cottonwood Canyon,they found the narrow 
passageway between the hills looking like a tented 
field. Out in the open square of the regulated 
camp, the strains of "Uncle" Dimick Hunting- 
ton's Martial Band saluted the ears with tingling 
effect, as the fifes piped out shrilly the melody of 
"The Girl I Left Behind Me." 

Charlie Rose assisted Aunt Clara and Ellen to 
alight, while he sang in merry accompaniment the 
words of the song. Ellie's own dancing feet were 
tripping, almost before she touched the green- 
sward; and Charlie seized her hands and together 
they flew and pirouetted and bowed and danced to 
the strains of that inspiring sound. 

Henry Boyle, who was off his horse before the 
party halted, quickly appropriated Dian's willing 
fingers, and together they tripped in all the gay 
disorder of impromptu dancing over the open 
square, as the music shrilled and floated out on 
the cool, canyon breeze. 

Even Aunt Clara's feet tingled with the sound ; 



THE PIC-NIC IN THE WASATCH 13 

but she refused to accept jolly Tom Allen's invita- 
tion to join the merry throng now quickly gather- 
ing on the sward, for she was very stout ; but she 
smiled sympathetically into John's face as he 
glanced quizzically at his own partner now whisk- 
ing away merily with another, and at his associate 
youths who had left to him all the labor of un- 
hitching and preparing camp for the night. But 
John was not a dancing man. He cared little 
that he was left alone. His animals were very dear 
to him; for his lonely domestic life had brought 
him in close association with the dumb beasts 
that carried him over trackless plains and moun- 
tain peaks. 

Soon the word went forth that President Young 
was approaching the rendezvous, and all hastened 
to greet their friend and leader. As his buggy, 
driven rapidly through the dusty road, came in 
sight, the Nauvoo Band poured forth its brass 
blare of welcome ; the boys pulled off their hats ; 
the girls waved sunbonnets ; and the whole group 
stood at attention, with affectionate greetings 
written upon their smiling faces, and waving their 
hands, to welcome Brigham Young Governor, 
President, friend, and brother. 

Thereafter followed the peaceable family of 
Bishop Winthrop. Comforted and rested by the 
soothing assurance that wife and children were 
well and with him, and that his precious young 
sister, Diantha, was for once in the care and 



14 JOHN STEVENS' COURTSHIP 

company of the man he loved best on earth, Bish- 
op Winthrop had driven his light spring wagon 
joyfully, and withal as rapidly as his farm horses 
would permit, in the wake of the President and 
his immediate family, with Rachael and babe 
crooning happily beside him, and the merry 
youngsters behind, who were too interested in 
the gigantic picnic before them even to indulge 
in a childish squabble. 

At late sunset, the bugle sent forth its insistent 
call for silence. Rapidly the company of over 
three thousand souls, encamped for the night be- 
side the brawling Big Cottonwood stream, gath- 
ered in one glowing mass of color and motion. 
Then youth and age knelt reverently on the sward, 
while devotions were offered to the kind Provi- 
dence which had permitted them to begin their 
long-planned festivity. 

An hour after the evening service was over, 
the pleasure seekers had retired into wagons and 
tents, and the silence of the peaceful hills brooded 
over the encampment. 



II. 

DIANTHA FORGETS JOHN 

HE next morning at daybreak, the party 
began the long steady climb amidst crags 
and pine covered hills, up through the 
rocky windings of "The Stairs," and 
still up. The party laughed, sang, walked, 
climbed, or rested for a moment beside the churn- 
ing, foaming mountain stream or beneath the 
shadowing pine trees which bordered the newly 
made road. As the long cavalcade wound in 
and out between the hills, the two girls in 
the wagon drawn by John Stevens' spirited horses, 
sang and laughed in gayest abandon. Aunt 
Clara's eyes were full of tender gratitude for such 
happiness, for she had known the sorrows of many 
mobbings and drivings. . This haven of peace and 
joyous plenty was a foretaste of heaven to the 
faithful heart which had braved more than the 
persecution of strangers; for Aunt Clara had left 
home, parents, and all she held dear for the sake 
of that Gospel which spelled Truth and Life Ev- 
erlasting to its faithful votaries. 

"Oh, John," cried Diantha at last, "You must 
let Ellie and me walk; I just can't resist the 
pleading call of those gorgeous flowers. Blue- 
bells, and red-bells and oh, the exquisite colum- 



16 JOHN STEVENS' COURTSHIP 

bines! Look, Ellie, look! Stop, John, stop! El- 
lie and I will walk." 

John himself was walking beside his team up 
the heavy, seemingly never-ending grade of that 
twenty mile ascent, while Tom Allen and Charlie 
Rose placed an occasional block under the wheels 
or stood upon them, while the panting horses 
rested for a moment. 

"Here you are," called Charlie, as he heard 
Dian's plea, " 'my waiting arms will hold you,' " 
and he held out his arms in mock pleading. 

"Aunt Clara's lips will scold you," jeered Dian 
as she climbed safely down on the other side. But 
Ellen jumped gayly into the grasp of the waiting 
cavalier, whose modest action in placing her gent- 
ly on the hillside belied his bombastic appeal. 

"Spirit of the hills, descend and greet, 
The pressing of her eager feet," 

sang Charlie as he followed the flying girls, gay- 
ly improvising his boyish madrigals to meet each 
incident of the day. 

The girls climbed from point to point, always 
going upward, but keeping out of the way of pass- 
ing teams. Their arms were soon filled with the 
blooms of riotous colors and perfume which in- 
toxicated them with the blush and glory of the 
color song of peak and mountain vale. 



DIANTHA FORGETS JOHN 17 

"Her spicy cheeks were red with bloom, 
Her colored breath was panting; 
As with a thousand flowers of June " 

Charlie paused to block the wheel, and Diantha 
finished his doggerel for him, 

"She mocked at Charlie's ranting." 

and Aunt Clara who felt faint herself from the 
rarified air that they were all conscious of, looked 
anxiously at the somewhat delicate frame of her 
foster-daughter. 

"Tom, I believe you, too, are uncomfortable." 

Tom Allen was almost speechless, for his bulky 
form was nearly overcome with the constant 
climbing ; but he would not betray the fact to the 
scorn of Charlie Rose: for Tom dreaded to be 
teased quite as much as he loved to tease others. 
So he quieted his panting breath to say, "Aunt 
Clara, I think I heard some one say you had 
some doughnuts in one of those baskets; where 
could we find a better place to eat our frugal 
meal than beside this purling stream." 

"Just a mile or so, more," interposed John 
Stevens. "We are almost there; can't you exer- 
cise patience for another hour?" 

At that moment, however, word was passed 
down the line that all would pause half an hour to 
rest animals and men. 



18 JOHN STEVENS' COURTSHIP 

The cavalcade had passed the two lower saw- 
mills, with the roomy cabins decorated with wav- 
ing flags. Now they halted beside the third and 
last mill, nestled in the crevice of the canyon. Its 
buzzing industry was stilled for this wondrous 
day, while the workmen and their families gath- 
ered in the grassy space to meet and welcome the 
company. For their pleasure they had not only 
made the last five miles of that difficult road into 
the vale of the Silver Lake, just above, but had 
also erected three spacious boweries with com- 
fortable floors and seats to accommodate the gay 
revelers. 

Everybody seemed moved wjith a common 
impulse for "doughnuts;" for the President him- 
self, as he halted at the "saw-mill," stepped up 
to Aunt Clara Tyler and accepted courteously 
her offer of fried cakes. 

The impatient girls were glad, nevertheless, 
when the half-hour was over, and they could once 
more resume their places in the wagon for the 
final steep climb to the place of destination. When 
they mounted the last summit of that low northern 
rim encircling the valley of their desire, both girl- 
ish throats were at once filled with excited excla- 
mations of delight, as the fairy scene burst upon 
their view. 

An emerald-tinted valley with a silvery lake 
empearled on its western rim lay before them, 
cupped in a circle of embracing hills and snow- 



DIANTHA FORGETS JOHN 19 

covered crags. The summits of the eastern and 
western hills were crowned with pine, which 
here and there, like dusky sentinels, traced their 
lines down, down to the water's edge. That gleam- 
ing, brilliant, silent water! Every tree upon its 
brink was reproduced, and even the clouds above 
floated again in soft, tremulous pictures beneath 
the surface of this beautiful mountain mirror- 
Sheer above the lake on the south towered white 
granite cliffs, holding here and there a whiter 
bloom of snow in their pale embrace. 

Ellen jumped excitedly from her seat to lean 
over and hug her friend Diantha, as the wagon 
rolled slowly down the smooth road to the spot 
which John had selected for the Winthrop and 
Tyler tents, close to the marquee of President 
Young. Dian put up a caressing hand to the soft 
cheek of her enthusiastic friend, Ellen, and leaned 
her own cheek tenderly against the one bending 
over her shoulder. 

"Oh, Dian," breathed the happy girl, "I never 
thought there was so much beauty in all Utah." 

"Utah is the home of beauty and goodness," 
said Charlie Rose gallantly, and even Dian could 
not answer this trite compliment saucily, for her 
heart was melted with rapture at sight of so much 
grandeur. 

The camp was located on a fairy-like spot, over- 
looking the surrounding meadows and lake. The 



20 JOHN STEVENS' COURTSHIP 

boweries, President Young's marquee, and Presi- 
dent Heber C. Kimball's tent, occupied an open 
space amid the small copses of pine on the north 
side of the lake. The tents, cariages and wagons, 
were soon grouped about these central points. A 
massive granite rock, fifty-four feet in circum- 
ference by fifty-four feet high, stood at the en- 
trance of this lovely, natural bower; from the 
center of this spot, and apparently without earth 
to sustain them, grew three pine trees, which 
were fringed round at the top of the rock with a 
thick cluster of young pines, about two feet high. 
A large flag was suspended from these trees, 
bearing the motto "Clear the Way," with an all 
seeing eye in the oval of the upper margin, above 
two clasped hands, under which, inscribed on a 
scroll, were the words, "Blessings Follow Sac- 
rifices." A representation of the Pioneer com- 
pany crossing the North Platte River, on rafts, 
occupied the central space of this great flag. Be- 
low was another legend, "The Pioneers of 1847 at 
the Upper Crossing of the Platte, in Pursuit of the 
Valleys of the Mountains." 

A little farther to the right, and near the north- 
west corner of the great, central, hundred foot 
bowery, was a stately pine, from which floated the 
loveliest flag on earth the Stars and Stripes its 
silken folds now whipping out wide and full now 
curling in graceful half circles around the unique 
flagstaff. 



DIANTHA FORGETS JOHN 21 

Another banner near by, bore the representation 
of a bundle of sticks, bound togethe'- with strong 
cords, and the inscription, "The Constitution of 
the United States. Equal Rights! Woe to the 
Violators !" 

From the front of the central bowery hung three 
great banners, the first having painted thereon a 
rock in the midst of billowing waves; from the 
summit of the rock floated the starry flag, and be- 
low was the inscription, "The Constitution of the 
United States! The 'Mormons' will Defend the 
Rock! Who can Prevail Against it?" The sec- 
ond banner had the picture of a lion, with one paw 
upon a rock above which was the inscription 
"Utah Courage," and underneath in golden let- 
ters, "The Spirit of 76 is not Dead." The third 
banner had a lion standing beside the docile figure 
of a recumbent lamb, with the inscription, "Peace 
Reigns Here," painted across the silken surface 
beneath. 

On the tallest pines at the crowning point of 
both eastern and western summits, there floated 
great flags, the red, white and blue of their glory 
accentuated by the clear, brilliant blue of the sky, 
and the deep green of the wooded slopes. 

Scattered here and there were massive swings 
for the youth, while the little ones were well pro- 
vided with low swings and wide seats. 

Major Robert T. Burton, of the Nauvoo and 
Utah Militia, with a detachment of life-guards, 



22 JOHN STEVENS' COURTSHIP 

had charge of the swings and the rafts on the 
lakes, to guard against accidents. John Stevens 
was detailed to his own full share of this guard 
duty, and was therefore soon absent from the 
merry party he had brought so carefully to the 
camp. 

The labor of setting up tents and arranging 
camp filled the remaining afternoon hours, and 
Dian was glad when her brother said, "You can 
go now, my girl; Rachel and I will finish; take 
this feather bed over to Aunt Clara's tent, for 
Rachel wants her to be comfortable." 

"What a kind thought, Appleton; Aunt Clara 
does so much sick nursing that she needs to have 
a good bed. Tell Rachel I think she is pretty 
good to give up her own bed." 

"That's all right. Rachel and I are young, and 
can sleep on the ground, when we need to. She 
says Aunt Clara was so anxious to make you 
young people happy that she gave up all the room 
she could for your spring seats and yourselves." 

"Aunt Clara is good to us, and Rachel is good 
to her. Pretty good religion that, brother, eh? 
Rachel is very thoughtful, Appleton." 

"Yes, she is the best woman on earth, Dolly. 
I appreciate her, if I am cross at times. Hark! 
That's the bugle call for prayers. Run along with 
your bed, Dian." 

"Allow me to assist in this operation," and 



DIANTHA FORGETS JOHN 23 

merry Charlie Rose appeared just in time to carry 
the bulky bed into Aunt Clara's tent. 

The camp gathered in the central bowery, at the 
cool sunset hour, and the choir sang "Come, Come 
Ye Saints." 

Come, come, ye Saints, no toil nor labor fear, 

But with joy wend your way; 
Though hard to you this journey may appear, 

Grace shall be as your day. 
'Tis better far for us to strive, 
Our useless cares from us to drive. 
Do this, and joy your hearts will swell 

All is well! all is well! 

Why should we mourn, or think our lot is hard? 

'Tis not so; all is right! 
Why should we think to earn a great reward, 

If we now shun the fight? 
Gird up your loins, fresh courage take, 
Our God will never us forsake; 
And soon we'll have this tale to tell 

All is well! all is well! 

We'l find the place which God for us prepared, 

Far away in the West; 
Where none shall come to hurt or make afraid; 

There the Saints will be blessed. 
We'll make the air with music ring, 
Shout praises to our God and King; 



24 JOHN STEVENS' COURTSHIP 

Above the rest these words we'll tell 
All is well! all is well! 

And should we die before our journey's through, 

Happy day! all is well! 
We then are free from toil and sorrow too; 

With the just we shall dwell. 
But if our lives are spared again 
To see the Saints, their rest obtain, 
O, how we'll make this chorus swell 

All is well! all is well! 

After the song, the attention of the assembly 
was riveted upon the dignified form of Brigham 
Young as he advanced to the edge of the raised 
platform and said: 

"We unite, my friends and brothers, and sisters, 
in gratitude to that Father who has permitted 
us to enjoy this festal occasion. Tomorrow morn- 
ing, at seven o'clock, the bugle will call you here 
to morning devotions, except those who are de- 
tained at their wagons. We wish those who have 
children here to see that they are in the tents, 
and not have the cry go forth that this, that and 
the other child is lost. I also wish to give a word 
of caution to all who may visit this lake or the 
ones in the hidden vales above us. I would rath- 
er have stayed at home than to have it said that 
a child has been lost, or any person drowned 
through visiting this place. 



DIANTHA FORGETS JOHN 25 

"Suppose a child was lost in the woods and 
could not be found; suppose you should lose a 
sister, a daughter, or a companion on this lake; 
you would always think of your visit to Big Cot- 
tonwood Canyon with bitter regret. A c' v cum 
stance of this kind would mar the peace of every- 
one. I wish the sisters and children to keep away 
from these rafts, unless they have some person in 
their company capable of taking care of them; if 
they know enough to do so as they should, they 
will listen to this counsel. 

"Here are swings and boweries prepared for 
your enjoyment; here are most beautiful groves, 
meandering streams, and lovely sheets of water, 
amid the towering peaks of the Wasatch moun- 
tains. Here are the stupendous works of the God 
of Nature, though all do not appreciate His wis- 
dom, manifested in His works, but are tempted 
to recklessness through the bouyant feelings of 
youth and health, and without caution, are liable 
to run into danger. 

"Some, if they had the power, would be on the 
other side of those loftly peaks in ten minutes, 
instead of calmly meditating upon the wonderful 
works of God, and His kind providence that has 
watched over us and provided for us, more espe- 
cially in the last fifteen years of our history. I 
could sit here for a month and reflect on the mer- 
cies of our God, and humble myself in thankful- 



26 JOHN STEVENS' COURTSHIP 

ness because of His favors to myself as an indi- 
vidual, and to all this great people. 

"What do you think the Prophet Joseph Smith 
and his brother Hyrum, the Patriarch, would have 
given to have seen this day in the flesh, and to 
have been here instead of being taken to Carthage, 
like lambs to their slaughter, and butchered by 
their enemies? We are hid up in the Lord's secret 
chambers, acording to His promise, where none 
can molest us, or make us afraid." 

Diantha's whole body shivered in an inner 
resistance as the President uttered this joyful 
challenge to fate. But she listened attentively as 
the further quiet words fell from his lips: 

"Here is a good floor which we have prepared 
expressly for your enjoyment, there are two other 
boweries for the mothers and their children, and 
here are three bands of musicians, together with 
our Nauvoo Brass Band and Brother Huntington's 
Martial Band. The Springville band and the Og- 
den band will both assist Professor Ballo who 
has charge of the great orchestra provided for 
dancing. Before we have our evening prayers, 
Profesor Ballo will favor us with one of his class- 
ical selections, 'what do you call it, Brother 
Ballo?' " asked the President calmly, across the 
pavilion, and the musician flushed slightly as he 
responded from the opposite platform : 

"It is the Overture to Tancreda," profusely 
bowing in his embarrassment. 



DIANTHA FORGETS JOHN 27 

And with that the band struck up the exquisite 
strains of that tuneful offering to youth and cour- 
age, while the people listened with well placed 
musical sympathy, to this unusual burst of mel- 
ody, in the virgin solitudes of this sylvan vale. 
The very hills took up the theme of that lovely 
opera by Rosinni, and echoed and re-echoed the 
fine harmony with all the Silver Lake's famous 
echo. 

As the massive form of the President's Coun- 
selor, Heber C. Kimball, stepped out to offer the 
evening prayer for that happy camp, sweet El- 
len's soul sang and sang the words of the prayer 
into the straining melody of the Overture to Tan- 
creda, but alas, Ellen's music was hidden in her 
soul and had not been taught to find expression 
on her lips, or from her finger-tips. 

After prayers, the people dispersed to their 
tents to finish preparations for rest, or to join 
in dance and song around camp fires or in the 
great boweries. 

At the Winthrop tent, Rachel was completing 
her camp arrangements. 

"Just see 'Enry B'yle 'ang 'round Di," mut- 
tered Dian's brother Harvey to his chums as they 
carried bundles and boxes from the wagons to 
the tents, "He is too fine to chop and dig; he 
leaves that to John and father." 

"I'm going to tell mother to set him to work, 



28 JOHN STEVENS' COURTSHIP 

said Lucy, who at once ran to put her threat into 
execution. 

"Miss Diantha, what can I do to help you?" 
asked the gallant young man, on receiving the hint 
from frank Rachel Willis. Thereupon he took 
bundles and parcels from the girl, she laughing 
again and again at his awkward attempts to be 
useful around a camp fire. 

The camp-fires, now began to shoot steady 
flames into the darkening sky ; the squeak, squeak 
of the fiddles was answered by the toot of the 
brass horns, and martial and stringed bands united 
their forces in loud, triumphant invitations to 
"dance." 

And how they danced! Old and young, short 
and tall, fat and slim, the temporary floor groan- 
ing and shivering beneath the hundreds of merry, 
flying, stamping feet. 

Huge camp fires, all over the valley, flung danc- 
ing flames and sparks high into the fleecy evening 
clouds, while at each corner of the pavilion, great 
pine trees, brought from the hills and set upright 
for the purpose, burned a spicy, fragrant glowing 
radiance into every crevice and corner of the 
bowered halls. 

"Are you going to dance with me?" drawled 
John Stevens, through his long beard, as he sud- 
denly appeared at Diantha's side. She stood in 
the brilliant light of the burning pine tree, near 



DIANTHA FORGETS JOHN 29 

the bowery, her tall, graceful figure melting into 
divine curves under the simple, white frock she 
wore, her arms uncovered to the elbow and her 
lovely neck just bared to show the proud lines 
which dipped in smooth beauty from ear-tips 
to shoulders. Her columned throat pulsated with 
bounding life under the snowy skin, as she moved 
her pretty head from side to side, while the crown 
of her yellow hair which was coronaded in heavy 
braids around and around the shapely head, 
broke into tiny curls on her temples and at the 
white nape of the neck, and was a glittering mass 
of spun gold in the dancing flames which height- 
ened both color and quality of that mass of silken 
charm. 

"Why, of course, I am, if you ask me to," Dian 
replied frankly. 

She knew John was not much of a dancer, being 
very tall, and not very fond of gyrating around as 
rapidly as the swift music demanded. However, 
she took his arm and they walked out upon the 
floor ; a waltz was called, and then the girl looked 
up in her companion's face with a dismayed 
glance, and he gazed at her with a quizzical re- 
sponse to her misgiving. Of all dances, he was 
least at home in a waltz. 

Once, twice, they tried to turn around but 
without much success. They stumbled over oth- 
er couples on the floor. In spite of Dian's heroic 
efforts to keep her giant upright and in time with 



30 JOHN STEVENS' COURTSHIP 

the step, he stopped suddenly and exclaimed: "I 
think we shall have to call that a failure." 

She looked up quickly to see if there was not a 
shade of disappointment on his face, and she re- 
joiced with a wicked joy, when dapper young 
Henry Boyle came up immediately and carried her 
off to dance, with all the grace and rhythm that 
was so necessary a part of a perfect waltz. 

They passed John once or twice, as he stood 
under the blazing pine, stroking his beard and 
watching the dancers with an inscrutable expres- 
sion. 

Diantha forgot him by and by, and did not 
again think of him, for her time was so filled with 
calls for dances that she had no time to think 
of anybody or anything but her own excited self. 

After a few hours of dancing, the girl accepted 
Henry Boyle's invitation to walk out around camp 
awhile, and together they traversed the small 
valley. As jthey passed their own camp-fire, 
where sat her sister-in-law, Rachel Winthrop, 
chatting with Aunt Clara, she suddenly wondered 
where John Stevens had been all the evening. 

"Have you seen John, this evening?" she asked 
Rachel. 

"Yes, he has been here, once or twice, getting 
some cakes and milk for himself and partner, I 
guess, for he took two plates." 

"I thought I was his partner up here," said Di- 
antha, in a somewhat injured tone 



DIANTHA FORGETS JOHN 31 

"Haven't you seen him this evening?" queried 
Aunt Clara Tyler. 

"Oh, yes, but I have been dancing so hard, I for- 
got all about him." 

"You may find some day, Dian, that two can 
play at the forgetting game," said Aunt Clara, 
with a tenderness that robbed the speech of any 
bitterness. 

"I wish they would," answered the girl indiffer- 
ently. 

Nevertheless her vanity was touched, a few mo- 
ments after, when she and her companion passed 
a rustic bower of boughs, twined and twisted into 
a lovely green retreat, where there was a small 
camp-fire smouldering in front, and a low couch 
inside, covered with softest buffalo robes, where- 
on sat her dearest friend, Ellen Tyler; and 
stretched out with his long legs to the fire, his arm 
supporting his head, and his face turned very in- 
tently to the young girl near him, was that recre- 
ant, John Stevens, who ought just now to be suf- 
fering all the torments of a discarded lover. 

It was annoying to say the least. Dian acted 
as if she did not see them at all, and whispered 
with much animation to her companion, as they 
passed the light of the fire. 

She hurried at once to the bowery and none 
were more sprightly and gay until the ten o'clock 
bugle sounded throughout the valley, and then 
she allowed Henry Boyle to accompany her to the 



32 JOHN STEVENS' COURTSHIP 

tent where the elder ones still sat chatting and en- 
joying themselves. 

Diantha Winthrop was pre-eminently sensible. 
She was sometimes annoyed with the frequent 
compliments she received as to this trait of her 
character. She was rarely angry with people ; she 
never gossiped about anybody, and if she had 
nothing good to say, she rarely said anything at 
all. She was not impulsive, nor was she unduly 
swayed by her emotions, deep as they sometimes 
were. She acted upon mature thought, and only 
the few who were her intimate friends, really knew 
the value of her sterling character. 

Henry begged his companion to stroll up the 
hill-side a little, just fairly out of range of the jok- 
ers by the camp-fire, and the girl was the more 
willing because of that other couple under the 
pines across the tiny valley. 

"Here you are, Dian," cried out Rachel. "I was 
just wondering if you would not like to get that 
pop-corn and pop some for the crowd." 

But Henry was still begging under his breath, 
for her to come up in the shadow of the pines, 
and away from the crowd. 

"Can't Lucy and Josephine pop the corn, Ra- 
chel?" asked Dian, at last. 

Both children protested their utter weariness. 

"Ah, child," said young Boyle, patronizingly to 
little Lucy, "just pop the corn, like the leddy you 
are." 



DIANTHA FORGETS JOHN 33 

"I'm not a 'leddy'," flashed the child back, "and 
I don't think it's fair, so there." 

"Don't cry," still teased the young fellow; "do 
be a good girl," then joking in his rather clumsy 
fashion, he added, "Come and kiss yoo papa." 

"Never mind, youngsters," sang out Tom Allen, 
"I'll help you," while Harvey and Josephine both 
flew to assist Lucy Winthrop. 

Lucy sprang into the tent in an angry flame, 
while her mother followed, herself too annoyed at 
the liberty the young man had taken to answer at 
all. But she soothed the two little girls, and they 
all came out and finished the corn. Rachel herself 
carried some up to Henry and Dian, who now sat 
cozily far up on the hill-side, under the dense 
shadow of the trees. 

The younger ones slipped away from the fire, 
and the laughter and song there died down; but 
the young couple still sat under the dark shadow, 
far up on the hill-side. 

Henry was entertaining Dian with long tales 
about his former home in the British Isles. He 
gave glowing pictures of the castle belonging to a 
distant relative in Staffordshire. The girl listened 
with increasing interest; for who could fail to 
sympathize with . the neglected cousin, even if a 
third one, of a real lord and earl. The narrator's 
allusions to himself were a little broad and ful- 
some, but Dian was inexperienced, if shrewd by 
nature. A feeling of deeper respect for this good 



34 JOHN STEVENS* COURTSHIP 

looking and highly connected youth was growing 
momentarily in her breast he certainly was such 
a fine dancer, and he always picked up a handker- 
chief so gracefully! She could but feel flattered 
by these confidential revelations of superior vir- 
tues and titled relations. The sounds were hushed 
from tree to tree, and the canopy of silence was 
unfolding in all the majesty of the mid-night hour. 

Suddenly there was a pounding crash and roar 
above them on the hill-crest, and down through the 
brush and trees came bounding some terrible wild 
animal. 

Dian screamed, and Henry jumped wildly in the 
air, yelling at the top of his voice. 

"Run, run ; it's a bear." 

He took his own advice so quickly that the girl 
was barely on her feet before he was half-way 
down to the camp fire, still yelling, "Run, Run!" 

As the young man reached the full blaze of the 
fire, a quick chorus of childish voices, above them 
on the hill-side from which he had fled, high fal- 
settos, trebels, and one deep bass voice, united in 
a blasting sing-song: 

"Come and kiss yoo papa; come and kiss yoo 
papa." 

And the children, in one derisive row of merci- 
less tormentors, stood just in the upper shadow 
line, repeating the refrain with painful insistence, 
until Boyle himself was glad to retreat into the 
silence of his own tent for the night. There were 



DIANTHA FORGETS JOHN 35 

sounds of laughter from every near-by tent. What 
Dian thought of this absurd adventure could only 
be conjectured from the scornful expression of her 
rosy lips, as she gathered the two little girls in 
her arms and drove the still jeering boy, Harvey, 
and Tom Allen in the darkened back-ground, away 
into the far seclusion of their own tent. 

But even as she fled, she heard in the near dis- 
tance another shrill cat-call, "Come and kiss yoo 
papa." And she joined with one smothered hys- 
terical burst of laughter, the two girls, who were 
still in her arms, in laughing at their discom- 
fited enemy. 




Ill 

"COME AND KISS YOO PAPA" 

T was barely five o'clock the next morn- 
ing, and long before the lazy sun would 
climb the high eastern hill, when Broth- 
er Duzett's drums rattled and rolled 
their startling reveille, echoing from peak to 
peak. In a moment, the quick bustle of camp 
life broke the stillness of dawn, and the neigh of 
the tethered horses, and the low of the oxen in the 
meadow, added a note of surprised domesticity to 
that wild scene. Then, before these sounds were 
fairly through echoing and re-echoing across the 
silver sheeted lake, two rounds from Uncle Dimick 
Huntington's cannon ware answered by two oth- 
ers across the vale fired from Elisha Everett's field- 
piece. The booming vdfleys were swept from crag 
to crag, and went rolling and tumbling in wild 
confusion down the canyon's winding glens, and 
were just losing themselves in silence, when the 
three brass bands united in one great glowing 
tribute to liberty, in the entrancing melody of the 
loved "Yankee Doodle." After this even the chil- 
dren jcould sleep no longer, but dressed as best 
they could with half-frozen fingers in the dim 
dawn of the snow-cooled air. 



"COME AND KISS YOO PAPA" 37 

Out from tent and wagon-box they poured at 
eight o'clock, these merry, happy revellers, filled 
to the brim with joyous anticipations of all that 
the day and the years would bring to them. 

As Dian and Ellen met each other, both with 
cheeks of rosy hue from their hastened toilet, and 
ready to go to the bowery for morning prayers, 
they heard that shrill call, now muffled by the 
busy morning noises 

"Come and kiss yoo papa," and Dian knew that 
the young avengers were again hot on the Eng- 
lishman's trail. 

"What's that?" asked Ellen. 

Dian explained her midnight adventure, but she 
asked no question of Ellen as to her own where- 
abouts the night before, as she really was indif- 
ferent on that subject. She had known and loved 
Ellen a good part of her life, and she did not pro- 
pose to let a silly thing like John Steven's di- 
verted attentions come between her and her friend. 
Dian was much too sensilfe for jealousy as a pas- 
time ; it might do in real love ; but jealousy in the 
abstract had never been a part of her character. 
Dian was surely sensible. 

The girls were that moment joined by Charlie 
Rose, fresh, dapper, and full of morning "poesy." 
"The stars have left the morning skies 
To beam in Ellen's lovely eyes," 
he began, when Dian interrupted saucily, "Well, 
I'll declare !" then he finished 



38 JOHN STEVENS' COURTSHIP 

The rose has left the dawn so meek, 
To bloom in Dian's beauteous cheek." 

"Well, Charlie, you are at least impartial with 
your ridiculous compliments," laughed Dian, "but 
I wish you wouldn't go on about my blowzy 
cheek." 

"I said beauteous," corrected Charlie. 

"Where's Tom Allen?" asked Ellen. 

"Oh, he's fishing, as usual. Did you folks have 
plenty of fish this morning?" and then Charlie 
told absurd Munchhausen fish stories till the girls 
were convulsed with girlish laughter. 

"What became of Boyle, the elegant?" asked 
Charlie. "Me thinks I see not his fringed panta- 
loons, nor his gay, red shirt. Hast seen his lud- 
ship this bright morning?" 

There was a wicked echo in the back regions of 
the Winthrop tent as Charlie asked this, and a 
chorus of childish voices piped up, "Come and kiss 
yoo papa," and Dian and Ellen were again too 
overcome with successive peals of cruel, heartless 
merriment even to reply to Charlie. 

"Dian," called Rachel, from the tent door, 
"come here a moment. I want you to find that 
flat-iron you laid away somewhere." 

"Why, Rachel, the bugle has sounded for us to 
gather for morning exercises in the bowery. What 
do you want of the flat-iron?" 

"I want the tub, too; Harvey, you carry that 
tub right down to the creek this minute, and if I 



"COME AND KISS YOO PAPA" 39 

catch you up to any more of your monkeyshines, I 
will have your father punish you. Do you hear, 
sir?" 

"Why, Rachel, Rachel," protested Dian, "don't 
get angry with Harvey up here. Surely he is not 
up to mischief in this lovely place?" 

"Do you know what he did?" exclaimed his 
mother, more inclined to laugh after all than to 
scold, "he took Henry Boyle's new red shirt out 
of his tent and then soused it in the creek and left 
it soaking there all night. He dragged it this 
morning through the black mud of this horrid 
valley until you can't tell what it is. Brother 
Boyle can't get up, I tell you, till I wash and iron 
his shirt. I am almost inclined to whip Harvey 
myself." 

But she refrained ; and the two women dragged 
the shirt out amid smothered peals of laughter, 
and sent Harvey to his duty in the crack juvenile 
regiment of Rifles, while Dian herself was not un- 
willing to be urged by Rachel to go on with Ellen 
to the exercises, permitting her kind-hearted sis- 
ter-in-law to prepare the shirt for future service. 

And still there floated at mysterious intervals 
that jeering cry about the tent of the fallen hero, 
as he lay ruminating within the inner sanctuary 
of his own tent on the mischances of fickle for- 
tune. 

"Come and kiss yoo papa," wailed the children, 



40 JOHN STEVENS' COURTSHIP 

as they, too, departed for the exercises in the 
bowery. 

The scene in the central pavilion was impres- 
sive! After prayers had been offered by Apostle 
Amasa Lyman, the great silken flag, taken down 
through the dewy shades of night, was unfurled 
from the tallest tree in the vicinity, by the youth- 
ful John Smith, son of the murdered patriarch, 
and once more the bands broke into crashing mel- 
ody, and again the cannon roared across the af- 
frighted silence, while the people shouted as the 
emblem of Liberty was unfurled to the morning 
breeze. 

The regiments of the Utah militia which had 
been drawn up in .rigid lines before the central 
pavilion, now saluted the Governor of the Terri- 
tory, Brigham Young, and then began a series of 
brilliant evolutions. The marching and counter- 
marching of this tried and trusty band of moun- 
taineer soldiers made a gallant display which was 
eminently fitting to time and scene, in its evidence 
of loyal devotion to freedom's rights. 

"Dian," whispered Ellen, as the two sat watch- 
ing the maneuvers, "don't you just love a soldier? 
The sight of those brass buttons is just thrilling 
to me." 

Dian's answer was more moderate, but she 
would have been less than human if she had not 
been thrilled by the sight of the so-called "Hope 
of Israel," the Juvenile Rifle Company -#hich was 



"COME AND KISS YOO PAPA" 41 

now led out by the handsome young son of the 
President himself, John W. Young; for all those 
youngsters were less than sixteen years old. Her 
nephew, Harvey Winthrop, was in that gay com- 
pany, as she noted triumphantly. And their 
marching and counter-marching, their saluting 
and drilling was a sight to touch the most slug- 
gish heart into warmth of admiration. 

"Oh, Dian, isn't that the cutest thing you ever 
saw in your life?" again asked happy Ellen, as 
they watched the youthful soldiers finally trot off 
to the silence of the trees beyond. 

"Let us go, Dian, now that the military exer- 
cises are over. I have just been longing to climb 
those peaks, and see the lakes above us. Come 
quick ; let us go now," and the restless girl pulled 
at her friend's sleeve. 

"Why, dear, you must be one of the reckless 
spirits the President was talking about last night. 
We ought to stay and listen to all the program in 
the Bowery. Let us go with the crowd and not 
sneak off alone." 

But Ellen could not wait, so eager were her feet 
to press the forbidden slopes of the hills above. 
She longed to fly, so vital were her pulses. The 
girls compromised as usual and finally walked 
over to the swings on the north side of the lake, 
and both swung themselves into happy -weari- 
ness in half an hour's time. 



42 JOHN STEVENS' COURTSHIP 

"Where are the boys?" asked Willie Howe, as 
the two girls strolled about. 

"John is doing guard duty ; Charlie is down the 
canyon with the horses; Tom declares he will 
bring us a whole wheelbarrow of fish for dinner, 
so I suppose he is somewhere on the lakes fish- 
ing." 

"And where is Henry Boyle?" 

At that Dian remembered his plight and her 
ready laughter bubbled up to eyes and lips. She 
told the shirt story midst peals of wicked laugh- 
ter. Youth is so cruel! 




IV 
THE ECHO DOWN THE CANYON 

HE two girls now strolled outward to- 
ward Solitude. On and on they went, 
drawn by the beauty of the scene about 
them. As the upward path brought 
them into the over-arched seclusion of the eternal 
quaking-aspens, towering in highest majesty 
above them, their very tones were hushed to rev- 
erence by the surrounding loveliness. 

"Oh, this is indeed Solitude! Such solitude as 
only God can make possible," exclaimed Diantha 
as the two emerged from the long path among the 
tall trees, and saw the tiny gorge below them, 
ending in the frowning, locked fortress above. 

They lingered on the upward climb to Lake Sol- 
itude to gather bluebells and columbines, and 
when they at last emerged on the rim of the rock 
which stretched from peak to peak, enclosing that 
hidden, silent sheet of glassy water, both felt that 
they had no words left to express their pent-up 
feelings. It was gloriously beautiful! And so 
they sat down upon the brink, and cast stones into 
the surface of the pool. They were all alone in 
that retired spot. Their merry companions, and 



44 JOHN STEVENS' COURTSHIP 

the thousands of revellers had evidently taken 
other paths among the many, each one of which 
led to other and more entrancing scenes than the 
last. 

And in that silence and seclusion, the two girls, 
for the last time in this life, opened to each other 
the heart's secret recesses, for each to gaze upon. 
The sweetness of that confidence hallowed, for all 
time, the place and the day. The tragedy of life 
hovered close to both innocent souls, and above 
and about them hung the curtains of the uncertain 
future. Ellen was never before so lovable and 
dear to Dian, while Ellen, dear, affectionate Ellen, 
fairly revelled in this rare and unreserved confi- 
dence shown to her by her adored friend. 

A distant "Hello" reminded them that they had 
promised to be back at camp in time to take the 
long trip up to an upper lake, and they answered 
with another cry of "Hello," which was caught 
and repeated a thousand times in the mysterious 
echo nestling forever under the shelter of the 
chalk-white peaks. And back they sped, under 
the giant quaking-askens, to the edge of Lover's 
Lane. Just as they reached the forest, Henry 
Boyle met them, his handsome young face glow- 
ing with the exertions he had put forth to locate 
these wanderers. 

"Hurry, the crowd are all waiting for you two. 
Aunt Clara has put up our luncheon ; John Stev- 
vens has got off guard duty for two hours, and 



THE ECHO DOWN THE CANYON 45 

Charlie and Tom have both arranged to make the 
trip up to the upper lake." 

The girls ran down the slope with him and 
found the young people all ready at the edge of 
the bowery. 

"Are you children going?" asked Dian, not too 
well pleased to find a group of noisy, half-grown 
children as part of their equipment. 

"Ah, let them go, Dian," begged Ellen ; "I will 
look after them, and I know Harvey will be good, 
and the girls will stay right with me. Won't you, 
girls?" 

And with this promise, the whole party started 
up the steep ascent towards the upper lake. 

"In all my life," said Ellen, as the children 
swarmed around her, and she found that John 
Stevens was to be her escort, for that portion of 
the trip at least, "I was never so happy. I could 
sing if I only had Diantha's voice; or I could 
dance, if I had Lucy's hornpipe steps ; but as it is, 
I must just shout aloud and cry 'Hello." And 
suiting the action to the word, she put her pretty 
hands to the side of her lips and cried down the 
valley : 

"Hello! Hello!" 

Ellen stood some time at this viewpoint on the 
southern peak, and the children gathered around 
her and John to admire the exquisite beauty of 
the scene spread out in the fairy dell below them. 

"Was there ever anything more beautiful on 



46 JOHN STEVENS' COURTSHIP 

this earth, Dian?" she asked, in triumphant tones. 
"There is nothing to hurt or make one afraid in all 
this holy mountain, is there, John?" 

"Hush, Ellie," answered John. "I don't like peo- 
ple to fling the gauntlet in the face of fate with 
such careless words." 

"But, John, did you hear what the President 
said this morning?" 

"Yes, I did. And it chilled my blood to hear 
him speak so; I have heard him do such a thing 
only once before. Do you recall how he said, the 
first year we came here, that he wanted just ten 
years of quiet and peace and he would ask no odds 
of anybody." 

"I don't remember it, John. I was only eight 
years old then, you know." 

"True, child, I forgot. It is just ten years this 
very day since the pioneers entered this valley." 

"Oh, John, don't be superstitious. I must not 
listen to you if you are going to prophesy evil. 
Come, the children are all going, and we will lose 
our dinner. But listen once more while I cry 
'Hello'," and she cried again "Hello!" 

Was it John's fancy, or did he hear afar off a 
long shuddering echo which clung with sinister 
repetitions to every distant crag and peak. 

"Why, John, what are you listening for? You 
scare me! I thought you were the bravest of 
men." 

"The bravest men take no chances with fate or 



THE ECHO DOWN THE CANYON 47 

men," answered John, resuming his long upward 
stride beside his companion. 

They found the whole party already gathered 
on the little island which lay in the center of the 
second lake. 

As John and Ellen reached the great rock on the 
south side of the lake, they heard the sound of 
music floating in enchanted waves through the 
vale of glory around them. John paused to listen. 

It was Dian singing as she spread the homely 
viands on the smooth, white rock which was to be 
their table on the Island in the center of the lake. 
The sheen of her hair was caugnt by the sun- 
beams as they danced across the still water, for 
she had thrown her sunbonnet down upon the 
rock, as she plied her homely tasks. The boys had 
caught some fish, and she was stooping over the 
camp fire to brown them for the coming meal. Her 
stately beauty was never more apparent than 
when some task of seeming ugliness brought the 
color ripe and rich to cheek and neck, and thus she 
bent above her tasks, every detail visible in that 
clear atmosphere to the watchers across the little 
lake. 

Dian sang to the accompaniment of her brother 
Harvey's concertina, all unconscious of the picture 
she made across those magic waters, so near and 
yet so far away from those who loved her best. 
The soul of her was still wrapped in dreams, and 
only half awakened to response by her friends or 



48 JOHN STEVENS' COURTSHIP 

family. And as she stirred abouv or bent above 
the blazing fire, her voice swept poignantly over 
the distance as she sang "Kathleen Mavorneen" 
inthe reckless abandonment of tone taught her by 
the little Italian music professor who loved to put 
his own fervid soul into the unconscious voices of 
these youthful, sylvan artists, whom he had so un- 
expectedly found in this strange country. 

'The Day Dawn is Breaking," sang Dian, the 
concertina wailing and mildly snorting in its brave 
efforts at complete harmony with Dian's sweet 
voice, and Ellen listened, her own heart beating 
in her throat with an admiration that was too gen- 
erous to be envy. But oh, why could she not 
sing? 

"You people would better come over here if you 
want your dinner," called Charlie Rose. And as 
he spoke the odor of the frying trout made invita- 
tion almost needless. 

"Beside the lake their tryst they kept, 
And rested not, nor ate, nor slept," 
sang Charlie. 

But Diantha caught his words and added, 
"The fish was gone, the lovers wept ; 
And wished their promise they had kept ! 

"If you folks don't hurry, we'll have every scrap 
of the fish eaten up." 

The prosaic appeal reminded Ellen that she had 
left her friend alone with the work of preparation 
of the dinner, and so they hastened down to the 



THE ECHO DOWN THE CANYON 49 

other raft and soon paddled across to the island. 

The picnic dinner was scarcely over before Tom 
Allen was down on the narrow beach and calling 
for all hands to embark. The children followed 
him quickly, and he managed to secure both 
Charlie Rose and Diantha as his other passen- 
gers; just as Henry Boyle came running down 
the rocks, Tom called: "Get the pole and give 
us a push from shore." 

"Wait," called the young Englishman. 

Boyle seized the pole, and sprang for the raft, 
but in an instant he was waist deep in the icy wa- 
ter, and the raft was floating off beyond his reach. 

"Come and kiss yoo papa," yelled out the pip- 
ing chorus of children's voices, while Charlie re- 
cited dramatically, "The boy stood on the burn- 
ing deck," with his own absurd modifications of 
the original text. 

Dian was angry with the children, thus to taunt 
their helpless and now uncomfortable friend, but 
the children only cried out the refrain, again and 
again, and that piping treble swept over the wa- 
ters, as the poor youth left behind waded up on 
to the shore of the island and turned his back re- 
sentfully upon his jeering tormentors. 

At that moment, John himself rounded the 
island with his own raft and picked up the discom- 
fited youth, whose once brilliant red shirt, fresh- 
ly ironed that morning by Rachel's kind hands, 
was once more faded and streaked, and added to 



50 JOHN STEVENS' COURTSHIP 

that humiliation was the awful discomfiture of 
those dripping, wet, and heavy leathern panta- 
loons, bordered with dripping fringe. Surely his 
punishment was very heavy. 

"Hurry home," said John, kindly, as they land- 
ed, "and get on some dry clothing. 

As poor Boyle plunged and swashed on his hur- 
ried homeward way, the cluck of those swishing 
breeches and the sluice of his brand new but wa- 
ter-filled shoes made it difficult for even Ellen to 
keep herself from joining the children in their 
peals of naughty merriment. 

Yet, with all the sundry small mishaps, surely 
there had never been so happy and so blissful a 
day vouchsafed to the "Mormon" refugees in all 
their tempestuous short existence. 

But the echo calls and calls from peak to peak 
and cries the challenge out to happiness and free- 
dom. And who shall answer, O spirit of a name- 
less past, so long pent up in these hoary mountain 
vales ! 




'THE ARMY IS UPON US" 

Oyez ! ! 

T is a long and a difficult climb into the 
tops of the Wasatch mountains; and it 
takes hours and hours to climb ; and the 
knees grow weak, and the breath comes 
hard, and the body bends to the grass. 

Oyez! Oyez! 

And the news of the evil day may travel so fast 
or travel so slow, good sir, but it travels apace, 
and reaches the hills by a steep and a difficult 
road. And long are the miles and dusty the path 
which stretch between the rolling river Platte and 
the tops of the Wasatch hills. But men must ride, 
good sirs, when they bear the message of evil re- 
port, for evil finds wings of wind, while good goes 
only by post, good sirs. And the men must ride 
fast, and the men must ride far, for the miles are 
many and the road is long that stretch between 
the Platte and the Wasatch hills. 

Oyez! Oyez! Oyez! 

The people in the hills are happy today, for they 
see not, neither do they hear, the echo which flies 
in sinister message from peak to peak as the men 
ride fast and spare not, climbing and climbing 



52 JOHN STEVENS' COURTSHIP 

still, to reach the tops of the Wasatch hills. And 
the echo is caught and stilled in its upward peal 
by the curling folds of that star-lit flag which 
flutters and flies at full-masted pride on the top of 
the highest tree on the top of the Wasatch hills. 
Oyez! Good Sirs, Oyez! 

The young people ran and danced and sang on 
their way down the road from the upper lake, but 
run as they would Ellen was ahead of them all, 
and she reached the spot where she and John had 
lingered on their upward way, at the jutting prom- 
ontory, and the whole party stood breathless and 
silent in speechless admiration. 

But it was more than the beauty of the scene 
which caught and riveted John's attention. He 
stood on the very edge of the precipice and shad- 
ed his eye with his hand, then quickly took out his 
field glass. 

"What is it, John?" asked Charlie Rose, sober 
in an instant at the look upon his irlend's face. 

"Show me; let me help to make things attrac- 
tive," said Tom, with a teasing note in his voice. 

"What do you see, John? I can see three horse- 
men coming up the Valley trail. They are just 
now turning the point," said Charley. 

"Oh, I see them," shouted Harvey, in a boy's 
excitement and with a mountaineers clear vision, 
he added, "And they are not our folks. They look 
too tired and rough for any of our folks. Say 



John, isn't that Porter Rockwell, with his hair 
braided round under his hat? Look! I thought 
he was out on the Platte River." 

But John had caught the profile of the man afai 
off and he turned down the dangerous short cut 
and was galloping down the path with the speed 
of a panther. The remainder of the young men 
followed helter-shelter and the two older girls 
were left to go down the safer and slower path 
with the little girls, with what speed they could 
muster. 

"I think we are silly people to run for nothing," 
said Dian as they flew down the path, but she was 
ahead of Ellen even as she spoke, and for some 
unknown reason, her own blood was a tingle with 
the electrical disturbance in the spiritual atmos- 
phere about her. 

"The United States is sending an army to de- 
stroy us." 

Almost before they had left the dense woods 
this message had flashed into their ears. 

"The United States is sending an army against 
the Saints." 

The people whispered it, spoke it, shouted it, 
and hissed it as they passed group after group. 
The children cried it; the women moaned it; and 
even the trees caught the sinister echo as it 
drifted from peak to peak and lost itself among 
the chalk-white cliffs as they gazed down in 
silence at the sudden excitement, spreading like a 



54 JOHN STEVENS' COURTSHIP 

pall over that happy group. But as swift as the 
rumor spread it was followed as swiftly by a, 
whisper of "Peace" and again "Peace, the Lord 
is on the side of the innocent," and the men drove 
off the frown of gloom, the women smiled again in 
trusting hope, and even the children forgot to 
cry as the influence of the leader, Brigham Young 
spread out like a bright cloud, and the spoken 
word of quiet peace was passed from camp to 
camp. 

The men might ride, and evil tidings come, 
but into the very woof and web of Mormonism 
was woven a trust in Providence which no care- 
less hand might sever. 

"Can Aunt Clara feed these hungry travelers?" 
asked John Stevens, half an hour later, as he 
raised the flap of her tent, and Introduced the 
three dusty travel-stained men, accompanied by 
Judge Elias Smith, who had been their compan- 
ion from Great Salt Lake City. Abram O. Smoot, 
tall and eagle-visaged, his splendid limbs stiff and 
worn with the long ride between the Platte and 
these peaceful glens in the Wasatch; Porter 
Rockwell, his hawkeyed glance narrowed into 
one glittering line as he swept off his worn and 
ragged hat, was crowned by a wreath of bur- 
nished braids that many a woman might envy, 
but which no woman's hand might ever clip, for 
death would find him still crowned with those 
dark and burnished tresses. And last, Judson 



"THE ARMY IS UPON US" 55 

Stoddard, alert, resourceful and intrepid rider, 
soldier and friend. Aunt Clara ministered to 
them all, giving milk and food to refresh, while 
she brought ice-cool water to lave the tired hands 
and brows of her friends and brethren. 

"The President wishes you to meet him in the 
council tent in one hour," said John, to the three 
men, as he left his mountaineer friends in Aunt 
Clara's tent, and strode away to join his youth- 
ful companions and to dissipate, as best he could, 
all the thoughts of gloom and care; for now his 
own troubled fears had fled, surmounted by a 
certain knowledge of what they had portended. 
He knew his leader's policy too well to go about 
the camp with anything but a cool and quiet 
front. Fear had passed ; now came action. 

Bishop Winthrop, with a word whispered from 
John, strolled leisurely away to the marquee, say- 
ing to his wife, Rachel, as he passed: "You had 
better go on with dinner, Rachel ; I may eat with 
the President, I wish to speak with him a few 
minutes." 

There was no further excitement in the Win- 
throp camp, for even John Stevens threw himself 
on the ground, and lay looking up into the 
bright blue sky above him, calmly waiting for 
that important function in every man's life, his 
supper. 

It was rumored quickly during the afternoon, 
that the three men, A. O. Smoot, Porter Rock- 



56 JOHN STEVENS' COURTSHIP 

well, and Judson Stoddard had brought other 
details of this startling news, but after the first 
shock was over the people leaned upon the sagac- 
ity and inspiration of their president, as if he 
were a very part of the rocky bulwarks sur- 
rounding them. 

That night, the bugle called the whole camp, as 
usual, together for prayers, and it was then that 
the formal news was communicated to them: 
"Buchanan is sending an army to exterminate the 
'Mormons.' " It was all true then. 

The two girls, Diantha, and Ellen Tyler, sat 
together in the bowery, when this announcement 
was made, and they looked at each other with 
wide open eyes. They were both children when 
brought to these valleys, and the thought that the 
terrible scenes at Nauvoo were to be re-enacted in 
this far distant Territory, caused both of them 
to pale with fear and dread. 

With a common instinct both looked around 
for John Stevens. Henry Boyle stood near them, 
and he answered their questioning look with a 
little pallid smile. Dian felt that the young man 
was as frightened as she, and again, in spite of 
herself, she felt contempt for him. 

Away off in the lower corner of the bowery, 
stood placid John Stevens, stroking his long 
silken beard, with as much composure as if the 
announcement was a party to be given in the 
Social Hall. He did not look at Diantha, but 



"THE ARMY IS UPON US" 57 

seemed to be thinking of something very intent- 
ly, which was not unpleasant, and she wondered 
what it was. 

"Why doesn't John come over here?" asked 
Ellen, as she, too, discovered the tall figure of 
their friend. 

"Little goose, do you fear that the soldiers are 
within a half-mile of this place?" asked Diantha, 
laughingly. "Hark, President Young is going to 
speak," and then both sat with silent, spell-bound 
hearts, listening to that clarion voice, which ut- 
tered the sentiments of a people, harrassed, driven 
and mobbed. 

His reassuring words, and the strong, calm 
spirit of inspiration which spoke through the brief 
sermon, filled every heart with renewed confidence 
and hope. What the future held in store for them 
as a people or as individuals, no one could say; 
but one thought buoyed up every heart ; God was 
with them and they could not feel dismayed. 

The rejoicing and merry-making was not inter- 
rupted for long; for after supper the bands tuned 
up, the pine-trees were lighted anew, and the 
merry hearts and the dancing feet filled the pretty 
vale with rollicking pleasure. 

"Where is John Stevens?" asked Dian of Henry 
Boyle, who came up to claim her for the first 
dance. 

"Oh, he had to go home on some business for 



58 JOHN STEVENS' COURTSHIP 

the President," answered Ellen Tyler, who sat 
near. 

"Without saying one word to me?" indignant- 
ly protested Diantha. 

"He asked me for my horse," said young Boyle, 
"and told me I might drive you home in his place." 

"Well, of all odd fellows, surely John Stevens 
is the oddest," answered Dian, none too well 
pleased with this summary disposal of her valu- 
able person. She would certainly have to take 
the trouble to teach that young man a lesson some 
day, when she had time; perhaps when all this 
army business was over, she would seriously take 
him in hand. Not that she cared a rap about him, 
but it was not a good thing for a young man to 
have such careless ways of treating her sex, fas- 
tened upon him by long continued habit. Diantha 
was pre-eminently given to setting people right, 
and she did not intend that her gentlemen friends 
should escape her molding hand. 

There were many wakeful hours spent in that 
gay little tented village and long before the peep 
of day the next morning, men were hitching up 
and packing wagons. Ere long the whole caval- 
cade had taken up the line of march, and soon the 
silence of the mountain peaks chained the whis- 
pers of pine and quaking-aspens withins the long 
vale, leaving the circling memories alone to sweep 
forever over the lake like shadowy wraiths of sum- 
mer mist. 



VI. 
WHO SHALL FEAR MAN? 

T the time of this story (in 1857-8) there 
stood in Salt Lake City, in the Thir- 
teenth Ward, a small adobe house of 
four rooms, with the tiny square-framed 
windows, set at regular intervals from a central 
brilliantly green door which gayly faced the street. 
Not only was the green door rare because of its 
extremely unconventional color; it was also un- 
usual in its quick response of welcome to black or 
white, bond or free, in a place where welcome 
grew more lavishly than did the grass in the 
streets. There was something so aggressively 
bright about that loudly painted door that even 
the Indians grew to love its restful color and 
the atmosphere that it betokened for all who 
pushed ever so lightly at its ready portals. The 
green was such a happy blending of the dark 
shades of the cool pine with the yellowed masses 
of creeping mosses that one's eyes were rested 
just to glance at it. None who passed within could 
fail to recognize that some one out of the ordinary 
lived behind those gaudy yet pleasing door-pan- 
els. The poor, the sick, the halt, the lame and the 
blind, all learned the ease with which that bright 



60 JOHN STEVENS' COURTSHIP 

door opened, and the wealth of gentle welcome 
which spoke in the brighter eyes of dear old wid- 
owed Aunt Clara Tyler. The Indians, too, knew 
where they would receive plenty of "shutcup," and 
if one had a bruise or a wound, only Aunt Clara's 
hand could soothe and dress, to the complete sat- 
isfaction, the injured member. 

Dear Aunt Clara! The mind traces in golden 
light her lovely picture. Bright and black were 
her eyes, but never sharp and cruel; she had a 
sweet mouth and the blackest of hair. She was 
short and very stout ; but who ever saw aught but 
the lovely spirit which was enshrined within her 
active body. People used to wonder why Aunt 
Clara had no enemies, and why everything ani- 
mate looked to her for succor and protection. The 
secret could all be told in two words womanly 
sympathy, such sympathy as the noblest of wom- 
en and the purest of angels can bestow; a sym- 
pathy which never encouraged evil because it 
made a sharp distinction between sin and sinner, 
but which drew the whole sting from the wound 
before dropping in the needed tonic of wise coun- 
sel, and covering all softly with the vial of loving 
tenderness. That was the secret of her popularity 
with young and old in the whole neighborhood. 

She had no children of her own, which enabled 
her to be mother to the whole town. But her dead 
sister's child, Ellen, was as dear to her as an own 
child, while she had a deep and abiding love and 



WHO SHALL FEAR MAN? 61 

confidence in the other motherless girl, Diantha 
Winthrop. She had no money of her own, and 
being a widow, she had few old clothes or sup- 
plies to dispose of; yet, someway, she was a ver- 
itable Relief Society. These organizations were 
not then in working order; and dozens of moth- 
ers with big broods of children could have told 
how Aunt Clara's winning voice and manner drew 
from them all the half-worn clothes they could 
possibly spare; and how such a mother would 
laugh as she saw some podgy Lamanite squaw 
going down the street with her own jean skirt on, 
patched by Aunt Clara's thrifty fingers and clean 
for the last time in all its final mournful existence. 
It was quite natural for the Bishop to send ragged 
children or newly arrived emigrants to knock at 
Aunt Clara's friendly green door, for help, spirit- 
ual or temporal. 

No wonder, then, that the night after the return 
from the celebration in Cottonwood Canyon, a 
dozen young people sat in the comfortable rush- 
bottomed chairs within the opened portals; and 
while Aunt Clara moved quietly among them, put- 
ting the finishing touches to her evening work, 
they talked with excited voices of the impending 
danger. 

Aunt Clara saw that something was necessary 
to drive away the alarm. Going into her bed- 
room, she drew out six large skeins of woolen 
yarn. 



62 JOHN STEVENS' COURTSHIP 

Here, girls, I have a chore for you to do. I 
want this yarn wound off for it is to be knitted up 
at once. Boys, you can help by holding the yarn 
nicely and properly, and the one who is done the 
soonest shall have one of the dough-nuts left over 
from my pic-nic." 

"What's this for; to knit stockings for our sol- 
diers?" asked Diantha, who was, as usual, the 
center of the group. 

"It's to knit socks for the Bishop and the boys ; 
I am sure I don't know, nor do I care, whether 
they go out to fight as the defenders of our coun- 
try or not. It will be all right whatever they do. 
Didn't you hear President Young say that God 
would fight our battles for us? Let that be suf- 
ficient." 

"Don't you think we are going to have a war, 
Aunt Clara?" ventured timid Millie Howe, who 
was one of the group. 

"No, I don't. Of course I don't know all the 
facts of the case, but I have heard President 
Young say many times since we entered the Val- 
ley that we should not have to fight any more 
battles, for God would fight them for us. I have 
perfect faith in his word." 

"Nevertheless, Aunt Clara," said a voice at the 
open window, "I want to borrow your father's old 
Revolutionary musket, which you keep hanging 
up over your bed." 

Two or three girls screamed at the suddenness 



WHO SHALL FEAR MAN? 63 

of the sound, and the young men started in their 
seats. 

"Oh, John Stevens, why do you frighten us like 
that?" called Ellen. "Come here and give an ac- 
count of yourself. Where have you been since you 
left us in the canyon, and what did you leave us 
so unceremoniously for?" 

"Business, business," answered the young man, 
entering the room as he spoke. "What are you all 
doing here, winding yarn as peacefully and calm- 
ly as if there were nothing of more importance 
on earth." 

"Well, is there anything of more importance, 
John?" asked Tom Allen. "Think of it, man, hold- 
ing yarn for the prettiest girl in Salt Lake. I 
know what ails you, you have no yarn to hold. 
Here, Aunt Clara, give him some yarn to hold, 
and there is Ellen. She can wind up that slow- 
moving tongue of his at the same time." 

"The yarn around and round she slung 
To make him loose his sluggish tongue," 
cried Charlie Rose, tauntingly. 

"Oh, John, do tell us the news. Don't bother 
with Tom and Charlie; tell us the news," Ellen 
persisted. 

"If Aunt Clara will give me one of her dough- 
nuts, I will tell all the news I have to tell." 

"Why don't you say that you will tell all there 
is to tell, John; you are so non-committal?" 
chimed in Diantha, who understood how much 



64 JOHN STEVENS' COURTSHIP 

and how little might be expected in the way of 
telling or talking from John Stevens. 

Aunt Clara went out and brought in a pan of 
dough-nuts and a pitcher of milk, which kept the 
young people too busy for a few minutes to talk 
anything but nonsense. 

"If I could find a girl that could make as good 
dough-nuts as you can, Aunt Clara," said Tom Al- 
len, with his mouth half-full of cake, "I would 
marry her tomorrow." 

"Would you, indeed," cried Ellen Tyler. "Then 
you must learn that catching comes before hang- 
ing. I made those dough-nuts myself, young im- 
pudence, while Aunt Clara was fitting my dress to 
wear up in the canyon." 

"Ellie, I shall certainly have to take you as my 
wife. You know that I have already been engaged 
several times. But you shall have the privilege of 
being my very last sweetheart. The last is best, 
you know, of all the game. You are second to 
none in the matter of dough-nuts. Please, Ellie, 
give me another fried cake." 

"Another plate-full, you mean. I certainly shall 
not accept your offer, for if I did I should have 
nothing else to do the rest of my life but fry 
dough-nuts for you." 

"Ellie, haven't you heard that the nearest way to 
a man's heart is " 

"Oh, don't say such horrid things. We all know 



WHO SHALL FEAR MAN? 65 

where your heart lies, Tom, so don't bother to tell 
us," said Dian, with a disgusted air. 

"What on earth is the matter with me," began 
Tom, rising in mock indignation from his chair, 
but the girls cried out in dismay, and John Ste- 
vens, who sat nearest the offending youth, pulled 
him down into his seat again, and growled at him 
in so low a voice that no one but Tom could hear 
him, "There is nothing the matter with you, only 
you make yourself a little too prominent." And 
John indicated his friend's adipose with a slight 
blow. Tom was so tickled with the joke that he 
determined to repeat it even if the girls should be 
more shocked than ever, but Aunt Clara came in 
and asked John to tell them the news of the army. 

"Yes, there is really an army en route for Utah, 
but they will forever be en route, either to Utah," 
after a pause, he added under his breath, "or to 
hell." 

"What are they coming here for?" asked Aunt 
Clara, again. 

"No one knows, unless it is to rob and murder 
us again, as mobs have tried to do so often be- 
fore." 

"And will they do it?" breathlessly asked Ellen. 

"Not this year," grimly answered John. 
"There is only one entrance into this valley, 
through the canyon. And forty men could hold an 
army at bay for a year in our canyons." 

"But, John, where are they? and how many are 

6 



66 JOHN STEVENS' COURTSHIP 

there of them? and when will they get here? and 
who is going out to meet them and fight them, 
and" 

"Well, Ellie, we shall give you the credit of ask- 
ing more questions in a minute than even Presi- 
dent Young could answer in a day. Say, boys, 
where is Henry Boyle?" 

"Henry Boyle, did you say, Henry Boyle?" and 
Tom Allen, who had thus repeated the question, 
began to laugh, and as he laughed he fairly tum- 
bled off his chair in his efforts to control his merri- 
ment. The others smiled and some even laughed 
aloud to see fat Tom laugh, for his merriment was 
always as contagious as a clown's. 

"Do tell us what is the matter with Henry 
Boyle?" snapped Diantha, at last, worn out by his 
long continued, mysterious laughter. 

"Oh, dear, I forget all about it, this war talk 
drove it all out of my head. But it is too ridicu- 
lous for anything," and he went off into another 
peal of laughter and exhausted himself, before 
they could calm him down to tell his story. 

"You see, early this morning, far too early, it 
could not have been more than half an hour after 
sunrise, I was just taking my last beauty sleep, 
when a little boy rapped at my door; and when 
I succeeded in tearing myself from the arms of 
Morpheus sufficiently to find out what he wanted, 
he said Brother Boyle wanted to see me. I got 
myself over to Henry's and on entering the room," 



WHO SHALL FEAR MAN? 67 

here another burst of laughter rendered Tom 
speechless for a moment, "there lay Henry on his 
bed, his legs stretched out and covered with his 
hard shrunken buckskin pants. I don't know 
where he got those pants, but they were not half 
tanned, and yesterday after that fall in the lake 
with them, fringes and all, he slept in them, for 
he said he could not get them off ; and he had to let 
Charlie Rose drive the folks down in the wagon, 
while he coaxed another family to let him travel 
down in the bottom of their wagon, for he couldn't 
bend his knees. He got on to his bed someway, 
and there he lies. He wanted me to help him out 
of his scrape, for he says he can not afford to lose 
his precious pants; they cost him too much." 

"What did you tell him to do?" asked Ellen. 

"Oh, I ordered him to live on fresh air and cold 
water for three days, so his legs would shrink, and 
then left him to time and fate." 

"I am ashamed of you, Tom Allen, for treating 
anybody so, especially one who is a comparative 
stranger to these mountains and our customs."' 

"Oh, Dian, if you are going to lecture me, I shall 
have to have another of Aunt Clara's dough-nuts." 

"Come, my dears," said Aunt Clara, "sing me a 
hymn. Here is Harvey with his concertina, and 
he will help you. Sing 'O, ye mountains high'," 
and then, gradually quieting down, the young peo- 
ple joined in that thrilling hymnal of Mormon in- 



68 JOHN STEVENS' COURTSHIP 

dependence. Strange people they were, with 
strange notions of life and destiny. 

"Well, I am going home," announced Diantha, 
at last, and she arose at once to get her hat. 

John Stevens took up his own hat quietly at her 
words, and she was pleased that he did so, for she 
wanted to ask him more about the coming trouble, 
and she knew that he would say nothing of im- 
portance in that crowd. 

"You asked me to stay all night with you, Dian, 
do you want me to come home with you now?" 
queried Ellen Tyler. 

Half annoyed that Ellen had thus rendered it 
impossible for her to speak alone with John, Dian 
was yet too courteous to let her friend know of her 
feelings. As soon as Ellen started out Tom Allen 
snatched up his hat, and so Dian had to accept the 
double interruption of her anticipated confidential 
talk. 

There was no such a thing as quiet or sensible 
talk with Tom Allen and Ellie along ; but just be- 
fore they reached her gate, Dian managed to ask 
John quietly to go down to Henry Boyle and re- 
lease him from the effects of Tom Allen's cruel 
fun. 

John parted with them all, and after a brief visit 
with Henry Boyle, wended his way to President 
Young's office, where he was soon deep in council 
with his leaders and the associated friends of the 
Nauvoo Legion. 



WHO SHALL FEAR MAN? 69 

The middle of August found John Stevens en- 
listed as one of a small, trusty band of Utah moun- 
taineers under Colonel Robert T. Burton, with 
faces set to the east, where they were soon out of 
sight and sound of civilization, riding toward the 
coming troops. 




VII. 
VAN ARDEN ENTERS THE VALLEY 

N the early morning of the sixth of Sep- 
tember, 1857, a solitary horseman was 
slowly making his way down Echo Can- 
yon, thoughtfully observing the features 
of the narrow and circuitous route of the everlast- 
ing hills as he rode. The morning sun glinted and 
shimmered upon the gaudy gilt buttons and epau- 
lettes of his dark blue coat. His cap bore upon its 
visor the arms of the U. S. He was clearly an 
army officer. 

The bright fluttering leaves on the oak and ma- 
ple brush that clothed the mountain sides in their 
gaudy, early autumn dress, formed a vivid con- 
trast to the tiny groves of cedar which clung close- 
ly to the mountain tops or hung in straggling 
beauty to the side of some precipitous cliff. The 
bare, brown earth, dotted with bald white and 
gray boulders, showed its plain face here and 
there, and far from the eye, the dull brown shade 
was gradually melted into a pinkish purple haze, 
too full of wild barbaric beauty to escape the at- 
tention of the young rider who sat his fine horse 
with a proud military firmness. 
The officer was evidently upon the alert for any 



VAN ARDEN ENTERS THE VALLEY 71 

surprise, for his eye glanced quickly ahead and 
' around ; his whole bearing suggested a sharp, sus- 
picious attention to every detail of road and over- 
hanging rock. As he turned a sudden curve in the 
road, he met a tall, silent horseman, who sat his 
restless steed, in a manner no less firm and com- 
manding than that manifested by the gayly-clad 
officer of the great army of the United States. 

"Good morning, sir ; may I ask whither you are 
bound?" said the mountaineer. 

"Certainly, I am traveling to Salt Lake City. 
Permit me to pass, if you please." 

"Just one moment; do you come on an errand 
of peace or otherwise. You must know something 
of the condition of affairs in this Territory, and I 
assure you I have full right and authority to ask 
this question." 

The officer glanced shrewdly into the face of 
his opponent, and after a few moments' careful 
scrutiny, which was apparently satisfactory, he 
leaned easily over the horn of his saddle, and an- 
swered quietly: 

"I accept your declaration and as a civil answer 
to your somewhat unusual question, I am quite 
willing to tell you that my name is Van Arden, 
and that I am bound on an errand to Mr. Brigham 
Young." 

"I do not ask the nature of that errand, for I 
dont' suppose you would answer me if I did ; but 



72 JOHN STEVENS' COURTSHIP 

I shall take the liberty of accompanying you from 
here to the City." 

"Very well, Mr. " 

"Stevens," laconically answered the other, slow- 
ly wheeling around his horse and trotting along by 
the other's side. 

The remainder of the morning was spent in a 
somewhat desultory conversation, the officer do- 
ing most of the talking, as he was determined to 
retain a measure of friendly intercourse, no matter 
whether it was pleasing to his companion or not. 
Towards noon, they halted beside the mountain 
stream, and each produced a modicum of lunch- 
eon, which was partaken of in semi-silence ; a few 
questions from the officer accompanied the meal, 
with exceedingly brief, although not uncivil, an- 
swers from the mountaineer. As they arose to re- 
sume their journey, a small party of horsemen ap- 
peared just in front of them, and without a word 
of greeting or questioning they joined the two, and 
silently followed closely upon the heels of the 
strangely associated companions. 

Arriving in due time in Salt Lake City, the gal- 
lant captain was escorted by his silent guard to ex- 
cellent quarters in the hotel on Main Street. As 
he was about to dismount, he turned to his late 
companion and courteously asked : 

'Would you kindly convey, for me, a message to 
Brigham Young?" 

Stevens drew himself up in his saddle, and with 



VAN ARDEN ENTERS THE VALLEY 73 

his eyes sternly set upon his horse's ears, he said 
coldly : 

'If you have any messages to send to his excel- 
lency, Governor Young, I will deliver them." 

"Then be so good as to convey my compliments 
to His Excellency, Governor Young, and inform 
him that Captain Van Arden is the bearer of im- 
portant messages for His Excellency which, from 
their nature, should be delivered at once." 

Without a word of reply, Stevens wheeled his 
horse around, and, after a brief parley with his 
men, who quietly accepted his orders, he rode 
hastily up the street. He was admitted at once to 
the office of the Governor, and gave a brief, yet 
vivid report of his three weeks' sojourn in the 
mountains, and then stated the nature of his er- 
rand and message. 

"I am under orders from Colonel Burton to keep 
a strict, but civil watch over this officer, who left 
Fort Leavenworth, July 28th, with six mule teams, 
to attend upon you with some demands or re- 
quests. We have not yet been able to ascertain 
the nature of his mission, but feel sure it is of a 
peaceful nature, as he left his teams and escort at 
Ham's Fork, and proceeded from thence alone." 

"What was his object in leaving his teams?" 
asked Governor Young. 

"I think he feared his mission might be misun- 
derstood, and he, perhaps be barred from entering 



74 JOHN STEVENS' COURTSHIP 

the valley at all, if he attempted to bring them any 
further." He said as much to me today." 

"What is your opinion of the man?" asked the 
Governor. 

"I take him to be a gentleman. He met some of 
our apostates, who have, as you know, hurried out 
of Utah to join the army, and they have, one and 
all, tried to scare the life out of him, with blood 
and thunder yarns about our people. But he has 
traveled straight along, and appears to be a firm, 
yet a sensible and peaceable kind of man." 

The President-Governor sat a moment in silent 
meditation. Then, with an upward glance of his 
piercing blue eyes, he asked : 

"Did you say that he wished to see me to- 
night?" 

"He did not mention any set time, only that his 
business was important and he wished to have an 
interview as soon as possible." 

"Brother Wells, will you send a message to 
Brother Bernhisel, asking him to be present to ac- 
company us in half an hour to the hotel?" said the 
President. Then turning to Stevens, he added : - 

"You will hold yourself and a small escort with 
you in readiness to accompany us upon this er- 
rand." 

In a short time the party arrived at the hotel, 
and the guard were stationed at different points 
around the building, while the gubernatorial party 



VAN ARDEN ENTERS THE VALLEY 75 

entered the parlor, and sent a courteous message 
to Captain Van Arden. 

John Stevens lingered behind the rest of the 
party, but General Wells came to the door and 
called quickly : 

"Brother Stevens, the President desires you to 
come in with us." 

John quietly accompanied his general, and as 
they entered the parlor, they found the captain 
shaking hands cordially with the Governor. Who 
could resist the magnetic courtesy and geniality of 
the "Mormon" leader when he chose to exert it! 

In a very short time captain Van Arden discov- 
ered that instead of a bold pirate and trickster, he 
had encountered a master spirit, and if he would 
succeed in his appointed mission, he must treat his 
powerful guest as all great men are treated with 
the most elegant diplomacy and subtlest defer- 
ence. 

Without a word of anxious curiosity or vulgar 
assumption of power, Governor Young allowed 
the captain to choose his own time for the desired 
interview, and ten o'clock the next day was ac- 
cordingly appointed as the best hour. 

The captain accompanied the governor and the 
rest of the party to the porch of the hotel, and as 
they moved off into the clear, pleasant autumn 
darkness, he looked up into the blue vault above 
him and said to his own soul : 

"What cowardly fool and lying trickster has 



76 JOHN STEVENS' COURTSHIP 

persuaded the President of the United States to 
send out here the flower of the American army to 
subdue, or perhaps destroy, this innocent, loyal, 
and simple people ? Brigham Young is the peer of 
any statesman in the United States, or I cannot 
read human nature." 



VIII. 
THE WINTHROPS ENTERTAIN 



HE next morning, the 8th of September, 
when Captain Van Arden went down to 
the breakfast table, his whilom com- 
panion, the silent Stevens, was already 
enjoying himself at a table in the corner of the din- 
ing room. The captain at once joined him, and 
found that the silent lips could open, and the re- 
served manner melt, when the owner so willed it. 
At ten o'clock the two wended their way in 
friendly chat to the Social Hall, the place appoint- 
ed for the proposed meeting. 

The captain found the room a well-lighted, large 
hall, with a raised dias or stage, in the east end, 
surmounted by an arch which evidenced a cur- 
tain, perhaps for the purpose of dramatic enter- 
tainments. As another surprise, the captain caught 
sight of a plaster cast of the Bard of Avon in the 
center of the procenium arch, smiling down upon 
any Thespian devotees who might be present. 
The floor was mostly covered with a bright rag 
carpet, and the windows were tastefully draped 
with dark red hangings. 

President Young came forward, and again the 
captain found himself under that magnetic charm ; 



78 JOHN STEVENS' COURTSHIP 

but he was himself a man of the world, and he was 
moreover exceedingly anxious to carry his point 
with these people, however much he might sympa- 
thize with them after learning their true character 
and position. He was in the employ of the Unit- 
ed States army, and had a most important duty to 
perform. Accordingly, as soon as the preliminary 
greetings were over, he addressed himself to the 
"Mormon" leader, and preferred his request. 

"Govenor Young, I come with a letter from my 
superiors and with orders to purchase stores and 
forage and lumber with which to make our sol- 
diers, who are on their way here, comfortable dur- 
ing their journey." 

"May I ask, Captain, what soldiers are on their 
way here and what brings them out to these west- 
ern wilds?" 

The captain was off his guard for the moment 
at the unexpected questions. He was aware that 
everyone present knew beforehand the answer re- 
quired at his hands, and he hesitated at the choice 
of proper terms with which to convey the unwel- 
come intelligence which all were already in pos- 
session of; however, the questions must be an- 
swered. 

"Through some unhappy misunderstanding, 
Governor, the President of the United States has 
been informed that the records of this Territory 
have been burned, and that the people here are in- 
imical to the ruling government." 



THE WINTHROPS ENTERTAIN 79 

"The records of the Territory are in the proper 
receptacle for such documents, and this people, as 
you can testify, if you will use your eyes and your 
ears, while you are with us, are as peaceful and as 
law-abiding citizens of the great United States as 
any that dwell beneath the shadow of the flag. I 
see no justification for thus sending down an army 
upon us." 

"Permit me to observe, your Excellency, that 
the army is not sent out here to do harm or to an- 
noy the peaceable and law-abiding citizens of this 
Territory, but to protect such from all out-laws 
and murderers, whether Indians or whites." 

"We have a fully organized and properly ac- 
knowledged corps of territorial officers, and are 
and have always been able to protect the inhab- 
itants of this Territory from insult or injury." 

The captain proceeded as delicately as he could 
to convey the information that a new governor 
had been appointed for the Territory, who was 
with the main body of the troops, and would enter 
the Territory and assume his office as soon as cir- 
cumstances would permit. He was a wise and 
prudent man, this new governor, by name Gum- 
ming, and he would be a friend to the people, and 
a support to all concerned so the captain en- 
deavored to assure the assembled council. 

"I am the governor of this Territory," answered 
Brigham Young, "and as such, shall take the 
proper measures to insure the life and liberty of 



80 JOHN STEVENS' COURTSHIP 

the patient, peaceful inhabitants of these valleys. 
You may tell your commander that we, as a people, 
have been robbed and murdered, our wives out- 
raged, and our men massacred, being driven from 
state to state, until we came out to this desert 
wild, and here, by the blessings of God, we have 
made the desert to blossom like the rose and the 
wilderness to gush forth. We have asked no help 
from the United States save that given to any 
other distant territory. After we came here, we 
planted the flag of our country upon our Ensign 
Peak within twenty-four hours, thus taking formal 
possession of this country in the name of the 
United States; and from that hour we have held 
out our welcoming arms to the honest and peace- 
able of all nations and tongues. We love our 
country and would take up arms in her defense, as 
our own 'Mormon' Battalion has so well shown, 
but we shall never submit to being murdered and 
pillaged by a lot of cut-throats and out-laws, for 
we will die, ourselves, before we submit to such 
indignities again." 

A low murmur of approval went round the as- 
sembled council, and it was some moments before 
the officer could be heard, explaining that the 
United States had no intention whatever of com- 
mitting any depredations or offering the least vio- 
lence to any person or set of persons. 

"We do not want to fight the United States," 
said the Governor, "but if they drive us to it, we 



THE WINTHROPS ENTERTAIN 81 

shall do the best we can; and I tell you as the 
Lord lives we shall come off conquerors. The 
United States are sending their army here simply 
to hold us until some mob can come and butcher 
us as has been done before. We are supporters of 
the government and love the constitution and re- 
spect the laws of the United States; but it is by 
the corrupt administration of those laws that we 
are made to suffer. Most of the government offi- 
cers who have been sent here have taken no inter- 
est in us, but on the contrary have tried to destroy 
us. What do you think of the patience of a peo- 
ple who have submitted to seeing a pimp set up as 
our honorable judge, to seeing him bring his 
strumpet with him and have her sit close beside 
him on the judicial bench, while he delivered his 
unrighteous rulings? Others like him complain 
that there is no civilization in Utah because, for- 
sooth, there are no gambling hells or houses of 
prostitution. The officers sent here are often the 
vilest and most wicked of men." 

"Most of the men sent to the Territory," an- 
swered the diplomatic captain, "have received 
their office as a political reward, or as a stepping 
stone to some higher office; but too often, they 
have no interest in common with the people. The 
greatest hold that the government now has upon 
you is in the accusation that you have burned the 
United States records." 

"I deny that any of the books of the United 
e 



82 JOHN STEVENS' COURTSHIP 

States have been burned. You are at liberty to 
examine the books as proof of this statement," 
said the Governor. "I have broken no law, and 
in the present state of affairs, I will not suffer my- 
self to be taken by any United States officer *o be 
killed, as they killed our own beloved Prophet 
Joseph Smith." 

"I do not think it is the intention of the gc / ern- 
ment to arrest you," said the captain, "but to in- 
stal a new governor in the Territory." 

"I believe that you tell the truth," returned the 
President, "that you believe this but you do not 
know their intentions as well as I do. If they dare 
to force the issue, I will not hold the Indians by 
the wrist as I do now, for white men to shoot at ; 
they shall go ahead and do as they please. If the 
issue comes, you may tell the government to stop 
all emigration across the continent, for the Indians 
will kill all who attempt it. And if any army suc- 
ceeds in penetrating this valley, tell the govern- 
ment to see that it has provisions and forage in 
store, for they will find here only a charred and 
barren waste. We have plenty here of what you 
want, but we will sell you nothing. Further than 
this, your army shall not enter this valley until 
I say so." 

The captain was overwhelmed with surprise ; he 
expected to find a few fanatical fools, and found 
himself confronted with an assembly of shrewd, 
determined men. . Their talk was the talk of an 



THE WINTHROPS ENTERTAIN 83 

equal power measuring arms with the great body 
of the American people. 

He tried to show the President that it would be 
useless to thwart the government in its plans to 
station troops in Great Salt Lake Valley. If such 
was the determination of the central government, 
a handful of mountaineers, albeit shrewd, hardy, 
and fired with religious zeal, which was the bul- 
wark of all lofty courage, would nevertheless 
sooner or later be compelled to submit. 

"We have no fight with the United States," 
said Brigham Young, "but when these troops, 
which you say must eventually quarter in this 
Valley, arrive, they will find Utah a desert ; every 
house will be burned to the ground, every tree cut 
down, and every field made into a barren waste. 
We have three years' provisions on hand, which 
we will cache, and then take to the mountains; 
and we shall receive from them the protection 
which we desire and which we have always de- 
served." 

The interview was thus terminated. The cap- 
tain had come to impress this set of fanatics with 
the might and majesty of the United States gov- 
ernment; he was, instead, impressed with the 
strange, unnatural earnestness of this band of gal- 
lant men, whom he could but see were honest, 
pure and intelligent. 

At the close of the council Captain Van Arden 
was invited by the governor to share the hospi- 



84 JOHN STEVENS' COURTSHIP 

tality of his home for the remainder of the day. As 
they left the hall, the Captain found his old travel- 
ing companion standing upon the steps, and the 
President invited John Stevens home to dine with 
them, and to spend the afternoon. 

As the party walked up the short hill towards 
the President's house they met a small group of 
young people, and John's eye, from under the 
broad hat, recognized pretty Ellen Tyler and the 
elegant form and handsome face of Diantha Win- 
throp. Some young men were with them, and 
momentary greetings were passed between John 
and his friends. 

After the meeting was over, Ellie turned to 
Diantha and asked her eagerly : 

"Did you ever see such a handsome man; oh, 
isn't he just superb?" And she gave herself a tiny 
hug in evidence of the sincere admiration she felt 
for the brilliant stranger they had just passed. 

"He had a very fine pair of side whiskers, if 
that is what you mean. And his coat was very 
blue and his buttons were very bright also," an- 
swered Diantha, laughingly. "You can always 
pick out handsome men, Ellie, but we passed so 
quickly that I did not get a good look at his face." 

"Who on earth were you looking at, then?" 
asked Ellen, "I can't see how it is, Dian, that you 
are so slow to see people. I see everyone at a 
glance." 



THE WINTHROPS ENTERTAIN 85 

"I was looking at our President and thinking 
what a glorious leader we have." 

"I guess you also saw John Stevens," said Tom 
Allen, who was walking beside Ellen. 

"Oh, yes, I saw John. Who could help seeing 
him? He is too big to escape anyone's eyes," an- 
swered Dian, indifferently. "Here comes my 
brother Appleton." 

The days following were filled with appoint- 
ments for Captain Van Arden to meet and share 
the hospitality of the leading men of the Valley. 
The gravity of the situation seemed swallowed up 
for the time being by a burst of genuine hospital- 
ity. 

The third day the captain promised to spend 
with Bishop Winthrop, who proposed a ride to the 
Warm Springs in the afternoon, returning to the 
house for an early dinner when the Captain was to 
meet the ladies of the Bishop's household. 

The expected day came all too soon for the 
women folks, who had much work to do to re- 
ceive their guests in proper manner. The riding 
party was to be home for dinner at four o'clock; 
and at that hour, Aunt Clara Tyler, who had been 
invited, and the two girls, Diantha and Ellen, 
stood in the front room, watching for the party. 

"Oh, isn't it perfectly lovely to think of seeing 
and talking to that splendid captain, Dian; I am 
just trembling with excitement," and Ellen Tyler 
fluttered restlessly about, going from window to 



86 JOHN STEVENS' COURTSHIP 

window, in utter inability to control her impa- 
tience. 

Aunt Clara stood looking down the street, and 
at the words of the impulsive girl, she turned on 
her those gentle yet steady black eyes, and chided : 

"My child, there is nothing remarkable about 
this captain. He is good looking, to be sure, but 
that is a very small matter. He wears a uniform, 
but that, too, is of little account. He comes to this 
people in an official capacity, and as such, our 
brethren have thought proper to show him all 
courtesy. But let me tell you, neither your father 
nor President Young himself would permit this 
man, nor any other stranger, to enter within the 
inner portals of his family life. You are a silly girl 
to waste a thought upon him." 

Diantha sat rocking herself coolly in the big 
rush-bottomed rocker, and with whimsical con- 
trariness, she took up Ellen's argument. 

"I don't see, Aunt Clara, why one man isn't as 
good as another, if he behaves as well. I don't 
know anything about this captain, but suppose he 
or any other non-Mormon who is a good, honor- 
able man, with not a shadow of sin or vice in him, 
should happen to take a notion to me, I can't see 
where the harm would be in taking a notion to 
him. Surely you don't mean to imply that all the 
good men, and all the desirable men are 'Mor- 
mons.' I think that is a very narrow view. What 
are your reasons?" 



THE WINTHROPS ENTERTAIN 87 

"There are two reasons, my dears. One is the 
solemn fact that a marriage ceremony solemnized 
by any other than by one divinely appointed and 
having authority from God to do so, ceases at 
death; a separation from a loved one after death, 
to continue throughout all the ages of eternity 
would be far more agonizing and intolerable than 
the mere earthly separation which is for a few 
flying years." 

"Well," answered Ellen, flippantly, "that's not 
much of a reason. If you are sure of being happy 
here, why not let hereafter take care of itself? 
'Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.' " 

"Ah, my child, you speak with the bitterness of 
the world-old scepticism and unbelief on your 
lips. That vain philosophy has wrecked more 
hearts than any other phrase ever uttered. There 
is also another reason; a very present and most 
cogent reason ; one that effects our every day lives. 
It is this : Married people should be mated on the 
three planes upon which human beings meet and 
mingle the physical, the mental and the spiritual. 
If they be mismated on either the mental or 
physical planes, a harmonious adjustment may be 
possible through the diligent exercise of the spir- 
itual graces. But if the mismating is on the spir- 
itual plane,such a couple will surely find their hap- 
piness shipwrecked, sooner or later. Try as you 
may, twist as you will, you nor none other may 
ever escape the bondage and sorrow that comes to 



88 

those who are separated by a spiritual gulf. I 
have never seen happiness as the result of such 
unequal yoking, and I never shall. When, as some- 
times happens there comes a measure of peace to 
such mismated couples, it is simply and only be- 
cause the one has sunk, or has risen to the spir- 
itual plane occupied by the other. Mark what I 
say, Ellen, my girl." 

"Well, I shall marry for love, Auntie; and I 
shall never take a sorrow on my heart which I 
cannot kick off from my heels." 

Aunt Clara did not turn around to face the 
speaker ; she merely said : 

"I don't think God makes mistakes ; and He has 
said, through his former and latter-day prophets, 
that it is not right for the believer to mate with 
the unbeliever." 

"Oh, here they are, Auntie; here they are!" 
cried Ellen. 

Ellen turned and ran impulsively out on the 
front porch ; Aunt Clara and Diantha followed her 
in a more leisurely manner, while Sister Rachel 
Winthrop, the hostess of the occasion, joined them 
as soon as the word reached her, and thus the four 
women stood waiting to receive their guests under 
the shaded porch. 

President Young led the way up the steps with 
Captain Van Arden close by him. The President 
introduced the captain to the ladies, since Bishop 



Winthrop was still busy at the gate with others of 
the party. 

The captain looked with genuine yet well- 
guarded interest into the faces of the two young 
"Mormon" girls, almost the first he had met. Hio 
interest grew into admiration, as he noted the 
lovely brown eyes, and the curling tresses of 
glossy brown hair floating around the head of 
sweet, fascinating Ellen Tyler. Her lips were 
curved and rosy with health and beauty, and her 
low brow and delicately-traced eyebrows were 
like those of a Grecian goddess. Her sparkling 
charm was not alone in the regular and beautiful 
features, nor in the well-molded yet dainty form; 
but in and through every glance, every word, 
there sparkled an indefinable attraction which no 
one could resist. Women loved her, men adored 
her. And this stranger instantly felt the force of 
her loveliness. He was a man of the world, too 
prudent to manifest much interest in women of 
this peculiar and just now excited people, but he 
shot a glance of daring admiration into the brown 
depths of Ellen's eyes, which she, as daringly ac- 
cepted. 

Diantha was a little behind the others, and as 
she came forward for an introduction, the captain 
mentally exclaimed : "By Jove ! where do they get 
such beauty from?" For the elegant dignity of the 
girl's carriage was fully warranted by the superb 
outlines of her face and form. Her head was 



90 JOHN STEVENS' COURTSHIP 

crowned with its soft weight of yellow hair, braid 
over braid of its golden glory breaking into tiny 
waves on her brow; the neck curved gradually 
into the loveliest shoulders and bust he had ever 
beheld; and these lines melted into so round and 
pliant a waist that he felt sure she could well pose 
in marble for a perfect Hebe. Her face was not 
so beautiful as that of the brown-eyed maiden, but 
it was so engaging in its details of coral lips, 
parting over teeth like white shells, richest pink 
cheeks and a full, strong, pink chin, that no one 
could withhold the meed of admiration which this 
magnificent girl demanded. She had such a cool, 
superior way of looking at people, with steady 
eyes and even eyelids, that even this worldly wise 
captain wondered if the girl were a perfect woman 
of the world, supremely conscious of her own 
charms, or was she simply utterly ignorant and 
therefore unconscious of the impression she made 
upon every one who saw her. 

Both girls were dressed in white; but Ellen's 
dress fluttered and broke into endless intricacies of 
bows, ends, ribbons, flounces and rosettes, while 
Dian's hung in long, simple, classic folds from the 
short, baby waist to the toe of the tiny boots. 
Clearly, thought the captain, as his artistic eye* 
noted these details, some inherent art has taught 
these two girls the secret of their own beauty and 
how best to emphasize it. 

All these thoughts flashed through the captain's 



THE WINTHROPS ENTERTAIN 91 

mind in an instant; and yet, if he was shrewd 
enough to cease his earnest attention to the girls 
before it became noticeable, his mind was busy all 
that afternoon, in spite of the effort to control his 
words, with surmises and a most natural desire to 
see more and hear something about these beauti- 
ful girls. 

As the party came into the house, Diantha found 
herself close to tall, quiet John Stevens. She 
looked at him in surprise ; she did not remember to 
have seen John look so handsome. He had on a 
new suit, and he looked so clean and wholesome, 
so true and so brave that she instinctively accord- 
ed him a rather more gracious smile than she alto- 
gether intended. She did not notice this latter 
fact, however, until she saw how coolly he accept- 
ed her unusual demonstration of welcome. Then, 
to be sure she felt humiliated to think that she 
had been even a little glad to see him. 

"Did you ever see Ellen Tyler look so sweet in 
her life?" asked John. "Ellen is a fine girl." 

Now, Dian was and always had been a very gen- 
erous girl, but this unexpected and utterly un- 
called for remark on the part of John Stevens was 
not precisely to her liking. But as he looked so 
unconscious of her pleasure or displeasure, she 
wisely refrained from offering any sharp admoni- 
tion or spicy council, as was so natural to practical 
Dian. 

"I am of the opinion that your gay captain has 



2 JOHN STEVENS' COURTSHIP 

the same way of thinking," she answered, and as 
she spoke, John looked in the captain's direction, 
and he, too, could see the vain attempts of the offi- 
cer to keep his eyes away from Ellen's fascinating 
features. At once John sauntered up to Ellen and 
never in her life had Ellen known this reticent 
man to show so much animation and gay interest 
in her as he did that afternoon. 

"Why, John," asked Ellen herself, banteringly, 
"what has come over you? I have tried my best 
to go with you for two years past and you have 
insisted on being only friendly and brotherly and 
all that ; and just now, unless I am mistaken, you 
are trying pretty hard to flirt with me. What's 
it all about, anyway?" 

John answered her in his grave, quizzical way 
that his meaning was even more earnest than ap- 
parent, and then begged her to go out in the gar- 
den while the others were at supper. 

"I can't possibly, I must help wait on the table, 
you know. I am to have special charge of the 
head of the table, so won't I have a fine chance to 
catch the captain's eye?" 

Just then Diantha was invited to sing, and she 
sat down to the little melodeon with modest as- 
surance. After she had sung twice, Harvey joined 
her with his concertina, and they both sang and 
played with charming compliance to the repeated 
calls of "more, more." 

Finding that it was impossible to take Ellen 



THE WINTHROPS ENTERTAIN 93 

away, John followed the party into the dining 
room, and was delighted to find himself seated 
next to Captain Van Arden. He felt all the cur- 
rent of mutual admiration and silent understand- 
ing that passed between the lively girl and the 
blue-coated stranger, and he ground his teeth in 
silent rage that he was unable wholly to intercept 
the glances and occasional words that passed be- 
tween them. 

After dinner Bishop Winthrop led the way to 
the gardens, and the talk turned upon the deter- 
mination of the President and his people to leave 
this whole city in ruins behind them after their 
flight to the mountains, provided the army should 
obtain entrance to the valley. 

The captain was walking with Aunt Clara, 
whose gentle face and charming manner had cap- 
tured his heart completely. He felt that she was a 
good and noble woman, and he wondered how all 
this sanguinary talk would affect so womanly a 
creature. 

He looked down into the kindly black eyes and 
remarked : 

"I hope, madam, that with such gentle counsels 
as yours, these strong men will not carry out such 
a dismal threat as the President has just voiced. I 
could not imagine tender women and helpless 
children driven from these peaceful homes and in- 
viting surroundings." 

"Be assured that if our brothers and fathers 



94 JOHN STEVENS' COURTSHIP 

feel that it is best for us to give up our homes and 
once more be wanderers upon the earth, we 
women will accompany them as cheerfully as if we 
were taking the safest pleasure journey. I know 
of no cowards among our women." 

"What, madam, would you consent to see this 
beautiful home destroyed and this fruitful orchard 
ruined?" 

"Yes, I would not only consent to it, but with 
my own hands set fire to my house, and cut down 
every tree in the orchard and uproot every plant." 

The captain stood in silent amazement. What 
was the moving force that bound this singular peo- 
ple to such united action ! Surely there was a so- 
ciological puzzle here for some philosopher to 
fathom. 

The party soon dispersed, and other days of like 
pleasure made the hours fly until the Captain had 
been in the valley nearly a week. 




IX 
JOHN OPENS HIS MOUTH 

N the following Sabbath Captain Van Ar- 
den attended divine service, and he was 
not as surprised as he would have been 
a week ago, to hear and see the calm, 
mighty courage which animated every face and 
spoke in every voice. Here was a handful of 
wronged and hunted religionists, whose only 
crime was in desiring to serve God in a way pe- 
culiar to themselves. He had walked the streets 
at darkest midnight, and not once had he seen or 
heard one word of drunkenness, ribaldry or ob- 
scenity. He had failed to find any traces of li- 
centiousnss, such as the ugly rumors he had heard 
before coming here, had led him to expect. In- 
stead, he felt himself surrounded by an implac- 
able circle of watchful care, which prevented him 
from entering into any relations with women, even 
the harmless one of mild flirtation with the pretty 
brown-haired girl he had met at Bishop Win- 
throp's home. Certainly he had received some en- 
larged ideas on the subject of religious persecu- 
tion. 

He listened attentively to Apostle John Taylor, 



96 JOHN STEVENS' COURTSHIP 

who, at the close of his remarks, repeated the 
statement he had heard before, that the army 
should not be allowed to enter the Valley; and 
then, in ringing tones, the preacher asked all who 
would apply the torch to their dwellings, cut down 
their trees and lay waste their farms, to raise their 
hands. 

The captain rose in his seat to see the effect of 
this powerful appeal. Not one hand in that vast 
assembly of four thousand people, was left to rest 
in cowardly silence in its owner's lap; but like a 
unit, the clouds of hands arose. Some horny and 
worn with toil and poverty ; others, soft and white 
with youth and womanhood ; and even little chil- 
dren in their eager, unconscious zeal, elevated 
their hands high in sympathy with their elders. 

The captain felt awed and overcome. Up in his 
throat rose a lump of sympathy and admiration 
for this heroic people. He expected to find a sedi- 
tious and priest-ridden community, mouth-valiant 
and few in number, whom the mere appearance of 
troops would tame into submission. He found in- 
stead, a handful of enthusiasts rising against the 
might of a great nation. 

When President Young arose to speak the Cap- 
tain felt a genuine response in his own breast to 
the vigorous and manly sentiments uttered by the 
"Mormon" leader: 

"When the time comes to lay waste our 
dwellings and our improvements, if any man un- 



JOHN OPENS HIS MOUTH 97 

dertakes to shield his, he will be treated as a 
traitor. Now, the faint-hearted can go in peace, 
but should that time come, they must not inter- 
fere. Before we will again suffer as we have in 
times gone by, there shall not one building.nor one 
foot of lumber, nor a fence, nor a tree, nor a par- 
ticle of grass or hay that will burn, be left in the 
reach of our enemies. I am sworn if driven to 
the last extremities, utterly to lay waste this land 
in the name of Israel's God, and our enemies shall 
find it as barren as when we came here." 

At the close of the services the Captain sought 
President Young, surrounded by his friends and 
associate pioneers; the officer grasped and held 
the hand of the maligned leader, and with a voice 
shaken with emotion, declared his sympathy and 
fellowship with this band of earnest enthusiasts. 

"President Young, my whole heart goes out to 
you in this cause. I am sure no one in the central 
government understands the real condition of af- 
fairs here. I shall hasten to President Buchanan 
and when he understands the true situation, be 
assured there will be a cessation of this war-likf 
movement." 

'Perhaps," said the President, "he will not ac- 
cept your version of the affair." 

"He must listen ; he shall be convinced. By the 
eternal heavens, if our government pushes this 
matter to the extent of making war upon you, I 
will withdraw from the army, for I will not have a 

7 



$8 JOHN STEVENS' COURTSHIP 

hand in the shedding of the blood of American 
citizens." 

"We shall trust in God, Captain. He will open 
our way before us. Congress has promptly sent 
investigating committees to Kansas and other 
places as occasion has required ; but upon the mer- 
est rumor, it has sent two thousand armed soldiers 
to destroy the people of Utah, without investigat- 
ing the matter at all." 

"The government may yet send an investigating 
committee to Utah, and consider it good policy to 
do so, before they get through." 

"I believe that God has sent you here, Captain 
Van Arden, and that good wil grow out of it. I 
was glad when I heard you had come." 

"I am anxious to get back to Washington as 
soon as I can. I have heard officially that General 
Harney has been removed to Kansas. I shall stop 
the trains at Ham's Fork on my own responsibil- 
ity." 

"If we can keep peace for this winter, I think 
that something will transpire that will stop the 
shedding of blood. God bless you, captain, in all 
your labors and efforts to bring about so desirable 
a condition." 

Notwithstanding the gallant captain's gener- 
osity and nobility, John Stevens, who had heard 
every word uttered between him and his own be- 
loved leader, was greatly pleased and relieved to 



JOHN OPENS HIS MOUTH 99 

receive orders to accompany the Captain early the 
next morning on his homeward destination. 

John felt no shadow of fear or doubt about the 
coming issue between the picked army of the 
United States and the struggling guerillas of his 
own Territory ; but it filled his soul with a vague 
dread and alarm to look forward to a possible con- 
tact between the youth of his people and the allur- 
ing sins and vices of the world at large. 

He was surprised, therefore, as the two men 
rode along in the cool, September morning, up 
through the rough canyon gorges, to have the cap- 
tain turn to him with a question upon the very 
subject which was occupying his own thoughts. 

"Stevens, was I wrong in supposing that al- 
though your people greeted me with such noble 
welcomes, yet there was a barier raised between 
any especial friendliness between me and any of 
your women?" 

"Did you make any effort to be especially fa- 
miliar with our women?" asked John, cautiously. 

"Ah, Stevens, you are a genuine Yankee. You 
answer my question by asking another; and I 
may not care to commit myself. You have some 
very fascinating and really intelligent women 
among your people. I saw some lovely faces in 
your bowery yesterday." 

"Well, yes, our girls are tolerably good-look- 
ing." 

"Oh, Stevens, no wonder your girls long for a 



100 JOHN STEVENS' COURTSHIP 

breath of worldly freedom, if all your young men 
are as cautious and unenthusiastic about them as 
you seem to be," laughed the captain. 

"Do our girls long for worldly pleasures?" 

"Another question; I see, my taciturn friend, 
that the only way to open your oyster of a mouth 
is to turn confidential myself and open my own 
heart to you. I confess to some curiosity as to 
the inner condition of your social affairs. Now, 
I am quite willing to further confess that I was 
never more impressed with the grace and magnifi- 
cence of womanhood than I was when I saw it 
embodied in those two young girls I met at your 
Bishop Winthrop's. Such unconscious charm and 
beauty, I had never seen before. And the brown- 
haired one was evidently not unkindly disposed 
to me ; however, of course I had not time, even if 
I had been given the opportunity to go deeper 
than a profound admiration for the lovely and 
winsome sprite. She was not forward, although 
perfectly free and familiar, if I may so express it." 

"Did Ellen, for that is her name, express to you 
any such feelings as you infer our girls possess?" 

"Well, yes; she casually mentioned her desire 
to see and know something of the great, beautiful, 
unknown world stretching out behind these rug- 
ged mountains." 

"And you?" 

"I was a guest and a stranger, and, I hope, also 
a gentleman. I could not but admire and be im- 



JOHN OPENS HIS MOUTH 101 

pressed by her innocence, but I also respected and 
guarded it." 

"I believe you are a good man, Captain Van 
Arden ; but you, are not of our faith. And if you 
read the old Scriptures, you will find that God sets 
a curse on those of His chosen people who marry 
with unbelievers. God surely knows why this 
should be so." 

"I can't see for the life of me, why one good 
man is not as good as another; if you believe in 
the Bible, you must acknowledge that we are all 
one family, and all children of one Father. Why 
should you presume to be better than I?" 

"It is not an assumption, or an impudence. 
There is an eternal law which underlies this prin- 
ciple. Perhaps I cannot make it plain to you, but 
it exists, else God would not have announced it. 
God is a Master gardener. He does not mix His 
blooms and fruits, but sets each to multiply with 
each ; nor does He ever mix the birds and animals ; 
else sterility would result. But to His children 
He has given their agency as their dearest pos- 
session ; and they use that agency like the reckless 
spend-thrifts and bunglers that they are. Only 
man may mix his seed and still retain a measure 
of fertility. We are eternal. Our spirits sang to- 
gether when this earth was created, and to each 
is alloted a time and a destiny; but always our 
free agency comes in to disturb and confuse that 
destiny. Yet, only by using that free agency, can 



102 JOHN STEVENS' COURTSHIP 

we work out our exaltation in the world to come. 
If we would be prudent, we would let the great 
Gardener train and trim our lives to His own 
matchless design. It is the ancient Hebrews, 
who have preserved to the world the best that we 
know of home, brotherhood, love, and life eter- 
nal ; and in their national individuality and history 
we have the most perfect example of the fruits of 
careful breeding. Where they have observed the 
traditions of the fathers, they are strong, domes- 
tic, clean, faithful, loving and true. This factj 
with all the Israelite's faults, is the lamp which 
has lighted Christianity for the rest of mankind to 
see by. If the Jews had mixed with all creation, 
where would their autonomy be today? Why 
shall the true Christian hesitate to abide by an 
eternal truth because of ridicule? The religious 
emotions are the deepest founts of the human 
soul. Make them muddy, confuse their source, 
and you have lost their purity and their worth. 
All men may believe in Christ, but all do not fol- 
low Him; for He came to fulfil, not to abrogate 
the laws of Moses. Love is too often the result of 
propinquity, or passion. More: I am convinced 
that God has mated His children in spirit before 
they ever dwelt upon this earth. There is a divine 
belongingness in marriage ; and if we will follow 
the guidance of that unerring spirit, we will not 
mix our lives nor confuse our destiny; there will 
be no bungling confusion or muddled strains in 



JOHN OPENS HIS MOUTH 103 

races or religions. I do not think all people will 
be converted to the Gospel in this life; nor that 
they could be. Nor that all men and women are 
rightly mated. But all will have a chance behind 
the veil, for we hold the doctrine of salvation for 
the dead to be as true as Peter and Paul held it.* 

"Our religion, like our politics, is much a matter 
of temperament. But the day will come in the 
great hereafter, when gradually all men will learn 
and accept the perfect Gospel of peace and right. 
Meanwhile, let not those who have been so greatly 
blessed as to see the Truth,confuse themselves and 
weaken their powers for good by joining them- 
selves for life with those who know not and love 
not the Truth. As is the husband, so is the wife. 
As is the wife, alas, so becomes the husband, 
sooner or later." 

"Stevens," said the captain, "you can expound 
and exhort like the rest of your elders, even if you 
do not waste time in general conversation," then 
with a twinkle in his eye, the captain added, "You 
recall to my mind a scathing assertion I heard 
uttered by an apostate in your Valley. He said 
that you 'Mormons' believed that no woman 
could be exalted in the Kingdom of Heaven with- 
out a man. Is that so?" and the soldier looked 
shrewdly at his companion. 

"Yes, captain; that is correct." 

Astonished by this frank admission, the captain 

*Read I Peter, 3rd chap., verses 18 to 20; also I Peter, 
chap. 4, verse 6, and I Corinthians, chap. 15, verse 29.) 



104 JOHN STEVENS' COURTSHIP 

rode on in silence for some moments. Then, as 
if to add point to his rejoinder, John Stevens drew 
in his horse, and turned in his saddle to look his 
companion full in the eye : 

"Yes, sir, that is our belief. But we also hold 
that no man can be exalted in the Kingdom of 
Heaven without a woman. Don't you recollect 
that Paul says the woman is not without the man, 
nor the man without the woman in Christ Jesus ?" 

And long before John had finished, the captain 
was laughing so heartily that he lost his reins. 

"Well, Stevens, I give up. You are a better 
scriptorian than I am; even if you may be in- 
clined to appropriate quotations a bit for your 
own advantage. That's no more than we all do." 

John shrewdly put another question. 

'Would you be willing to see your sister marry 
a Mormon elder?" 

The captain looked amused, then amazed. 

"Do you mean to imply that 'Mormons' are 
orthodox Christians?" 

'I imply nothing. I only wondered if you would 
be wiling to have your sister marry any virtuous 
man, no matter what his other condition might be, 
spiritual or physical." 

"Well, Stevens, I fear I could not convince you, 
and you only further puzzle me. One thing, 
though, I do maintain, and that is, that every 
American citizen, woman as well as man, should 



JOHN OPENS HIS MOUTH 105 

have the right to choose his own path and com- 
panion in life. It is our birthright.* 

"It is, when we are old enough to know our own 
mind ; but you would not throw your half-grown 
son and daughter in the midst of temptation and 
leave them there unprotected, to carry out that ar- 
gument." 

"Perhaps not, perhaps not. You have given me 
new food for thought, and I already have much 
new and valuable material for reflection and 
study. Let us hasten now or we may not reach 
our evening camp before dark." 

As he lay in camp that night, the conversation 
repeated itself over and over in the troubled mind 
of John Stevens. Oh, what was the right? How 
he trembled at the thought of strange and scorn- 
ful men being brought into this peaceful valley, 
and left to corrupt and estrange our thoughtless 
youths and beautiful girls. 

He knew something of the moral conditions of 
men in the world and he also knew much of men 
in general. He felt that nothing but the keenest 
religious conscience could protect men from im- 
morality of life. He raised his hand in silent ag- 
ony to heaven, and swore that his whole strength 
and life should be devoted to protecting and 
shielding the youth from this terrible fate that 
of too many youths in the outside world. And yet, 
as he himself had said, there was the divine right 
of self-choice, or man's agency. He groaned as 



iv/6 JOHN STEVENS' COURTSHIP 

the consequences of thrusting upon innocent and 
helpless women, as would be done, opportunities 
to seek their companions among camp-followers, 
miners, and other transients of that day. Human 
agency was an agency fraught with dire conse- 
quences. Would we have to meet its terrible re- 
sponsibility, he asked himself? 

What did the future hold in store for this hunt- 
ed and persecuted people? God alone knew! It 
was so difficult for a man of John's temperament 
to say God's will be done, when it involved the 
life, or worse, perhaps, the virtue of men and 
women. For he feared for the virtue of the youths 
among his people quite as much as he dreaded the 
temptations to be offered to the maidens. To John 
Stevens virtue, of both man and woman, was far 
dearer than life. 

He felt as if he must arise, and with mighty 
power, seize and flee with his loved ones to the 
safe fastnesses of the mountains. 




X 
IN ECHO CANYON 

T was a lovely day in the last of Septem- 
ber, a few days after the occurrences re- 
lated in our last chapter. The air was 
cool, crisp, and full of the odor of pine 
and sagebrush. In a mountain retreat, around a 
gleaming fire, sat a group of men with serious, 
eager faces, and their talk was carried on in guard- 
ed tones. 

The country was wild and barren, except that 
here and there along the course of a stream the 
willows and brush gave a little protection to man 
and beast. On a low hill-side to the right of the 
camp-fire, were tethered horses, picking a scant 
supper from the fall-dried plain. Not very far away 
yawned a huge black opening in the side of the 
mountain, which gave the name of Cache Cave to 
the spot. 

The leader of the party, General Daniel H. 
Wells, sat in the center of the council,his fine large 
head and prominent features giving him a massive 
appearance well calculated to inspire respect and 
confidence. He was listening to some recital of a 
recent expedition from the lips of a tall, red- 
bearded, slow-spoken man. 



108 JOHN STEVENS' COURTSHIP 

"What did General Harney say when Captain 
Van Arden had explained to him the condition in 
our Territory?" asked the General. 

"The General replied with an oath, 'I am or- 
dered to Salt Lake City, and I will winter there or 
in hell.' " 

The men around the camp-fire uttered various 
exclamations of determination that the violent 
general should be well supplied with opportuni- 
ties to join his friends in the latter warm retreat. 

On the right of General Wells sat an immense, 
broad-shouldered fellow, bearded and with eyes 
like an eagle. He said little, and kept his face in 
his hands while listening to the report of his fel- 
low-soldier, Stevens. 

"Major Smith," remarked General Wells, turn- 
ing to this silent, keen-eyed giant-like officer, "you 
will at once proceed to the enemy's camp, and de- 
liver these documents which have been entrusted 
to my care by Governor Young. Wait for a reply, 
see all you can, hear all you can, and make your- 
self, if possible, more familiar with the country 
surrounding us than you are at the present. 
There is much for you to do in the near future, if 
we would prevent this army from entering the 
Valley this winter. Do you wish any one to ac- 
company you?" 

'No, sir, I am foot-loose, and when alone, can 
ride as fast as I please." 



IN ECHO CANYON 169 

Accordingly, that night, while the others were 
fitfully sleeping, Major Lot Smith proceeded sil- 
ently out of the camp to go on his mission to the 
United States army, now pressing forward to 
Fort Winfield. Not a detail of the lonely road, 
not a bush nor rock; not the slightest undulation 
in the silent hills escaped the keen eyes of this 
traveler. 

Arrived at the army's headquarters, Major Lot 
Smith was conducted to the United States Gen- 
eral's tent, where he was received with great dig- 
nity. His papers delivered, he waited in stern 
silence, the reply of a tall, heavy-set, dark-com- 
plexioned man, whose prolonged silence gave him 
an opportunity to observe underneath the appar- 
ent coldness, a shade of anxiety and care on the 
officer's face, which the eagle eyes under the 
heavy red brows read as plainly as he did the 
rock-strewn roadway along which he had trav- 
eled. 

"Major-General Harney has been ordered back 
to Kansas," remarked Col. Alexander, after read- 
ing the despatches, "and Colonel Johnston, who 
succeeds him, will be here in a few days. Mean- 
while, I will myself undertake to reply to these re- 
markable documents, and shall send the answer 
by you, if you can wait for a few hours." 

'I am here under orders to await the answers to 
these papers, sir," answered Smith. 



110 JOHN STEVENS' COURTSHIP 

"Very well, my men will attend to your needs, 
and while you are eating dinner, your horse shall 
receive attention." 

Lot Smith made no reply, but bowed himself 
out of the presence of the officer. Instead of ac- 
cepting any hospitality for himself, he eagerly, yet 
quietly, spent the few hours of his stay, in master- 
ing every detail of the camp, and fixing upon his 
mind every word he chanced to overhear from the 
soldiers. 

He soon ascertained that the present command- 
ing officer was Colonel Alexander, and that the 
colonel was in some anxiety as to what move to 
make next. Smith discovered this from the re- 
marks of a young, dark-mustached officer, who 
sat chatting with his companion outside of a tent 
door, utterly oblivious that "Mormon" ears were 
taking note of his extravagances. 

"I have told the Colonel repeatedly," announced 
this young braggart, "that the only honorable and 
manly course to pursue, is to follow the plan laid 
out by Harney. Harney is a trump, by , and I 
wish we had him here again instead of this waver- 
ing, chicken-hearted present administration. All 
we have to do is to secure most of our troops and 
supplies in Fort Winfield ; then a few hundred of 
us with our knap-sacks on our back could make 
the valley in a few days, surprise the fanatics and 
poltroons down there, take possession of old Brig- 
ham's harem for our own comfort and pleasure, 



IN ECHO CANYON ill 

quarter our men in their church, and the thing is 
done." 

"Old Brigham himself might have something to 
say about that," remarked one of the loungers at 
the tent door. 'Van Arden says he is a fighter of 
no mean ability." 

"Bah! Van Arden is easily frightened. The 
very first thing to be done is, of course, to string 
up such rabble as Young, Kimball and Wells, 
with others of their ilk, to the nearest tree. I have 
no patience with men who play into the hands of 
heathens and tricksters. What were we sent out 
here for, anyway?" 

The young man looked around the circle with a 
sneer upon his handsome mouth, and as he met 
the eyes of one or another, they gave him varying 
replies either by word or by glance. 

"I don't think any one knows just exactly what 
we were sent out here for," at last answerd the 
tall, gray-eyed man who had spoken before. "I 
don't know that Harney, Alexander or even Bu- 
chanan himself knows exactly what we were sent 
here for. Presumably to install Gumming in the 
office to which the President has appointed him." 

"And do you think that it will take the flower of 
the American army, and millions of dollars to do 
so simple a thing as that? Come, now, Saxey, 
you are not so innocent as that. We have a whole 
Territory to subdue and the seditious priests of 
this most villainous community are to be tried 



il2 JOHN STEVENS' COURTSHIP 

and hanged, or hanged anyway. That's what I 
came out here for." 

"Well, I am prepared to follow my orders, no 
matter what they may be ; but I have no desire to 
take part in street fights, or brawls such as was 
witnessed in Illinois ten years ago, when the lead- 
ers of this people were killed by the border ruf- 
fians of that State. I know something of this peo- 
ple from my brief association with a part of the 
"Mormon" Battalion, which answered our gov- 
ernment's call for troops to march into Lower Cal- 
ifornia. I never saw a braver or more devoted 
body of men. And I will not be a party to another 
outrage upon an innocent people." So spake Col. 
Saxey, gentleman, soldier and man. 

"You and I do not indulge in street fights or 
brawls," replied the braggart, "but we are deter- 
mined to see order and decency maintained in this 
government, no matter if it be at the cost of a few 
lives of such lecherous scoundrels as old Brig- 
ham and his priests. Why, their doings are a 
blotch on the escutcheon of our proud country. 
It is an introduction into our midst of the rotten 
lives and practices of the Turks and Orientals. 
The manhood of this nation will not endure it." 

"Let us see, Sherwood," interposed the grey- 
eyed man, withdrawing his cigar to give emphasis 
to his words, "how many of Brigham's daughters 
or concubines have you decided shall form part 
of your establishment this winter?" 



IN ECHO CANYON 113 

"Oh, plague on your Quixotism; you make no 
distinction between the amours of a gentleman 
and the vile practices of the heathens and 'Mor- 
mons.' " 

The silent listener at the other side of the tent 
found it impossible to keep his teeth from grind- 
ing together at this moment, but he was suddenly 
approached by a subaltern who requested him to 
wait at once upon the commanding officer for his 
messages to Utah. 

Obtaining the despatches, Major Smith started 
upon the return journey. It was high noon in the 
camp of the mountaineers, when dusty, travel- 
stained Lot Smith rode into the small circle. He 
was ushered into the tent occupied by General 
Wells and staff and there delivered his messages. 
For the first time since leaving his own camp, 
the Major sat down and proceeded to satisfy a 
soldier's appetite, and although weary and worn 
for sleep, he was glad to satisfy his cravings for 
food before resting or sleeping. 

The general saw the worn condition of his 
faithful officer, and ordered him to his own tent 
until the next morning. Meanwhile a courier was 
sent to the valley with the despatches from the 
army, and a full report from General Wells and 
his scouts. 

All that night General Wells and his staff 
talked, planned, and counseled. It was but little 
after seven o'clock when the council assembled 



114 JOHN STEVENS' COURTSHIP 

the next morning to hear the verbal report of 
Major Smith and to decide upon future action. 

"I overheard much of their vaunting, blasphem- 
ous determination to enter the Valley, kill or im- 
prison our leaders, and to capture and ruin our 
wives and daughters. There are a few cautious, 
sensible men among them, such as Col. Saxey, 
whom you all know by reputation at least, but the 
majority, especially the officers, who are mostly 
young men of hot passions and romantic tempera- 
ment, are determined to force Colonel Alexander 
to proceed at once to the Valley with a light de- 
tachment, to be followed by the masses of the 
troops, as fast as is convenient." 

"Colonel Alexander informs me in his letter," 
said General Wells,"that he will submit our letters 
and despatches to General Johnston immediately 
upon that officer's arrival in camp; and, that 
meanwhile the troops are there by order of the 
President of the United States, and their future 
movements will depend upon the orders issued by 
competent military authority." 

'What shall we do under these circumstances?" 
asked one of the officers. 

"This is the plan adopted in our council before 
leaving Salt Lake City, and there sanctioned by 
President Young. We were to ascertain the loca- 
tio_n of the troops as soon as possible, which has 
now been done by Major Smith. Then we were 
to proceed at once to annoy them in every way 



IN ECHO CANYON 115 

possible. We are to use every exertion to stam- 
pede their animals, and are to set fire to their 
supply trains whenever practicable. Burn the 
whole country before them, and on their flanks. 
Keep them from sleeping by nignt surprises, 
blockade the roads by felling trees or destroying 
the river fords wherever we can. Watch for op- 
portunities to set fire to the grass on their wind- 
ward, so as to set fire to their trains. Leave no 
grass behind them that can be burned. We are 
to keep our men concealed as much as possible, 
and of course we are to guard ourselves against 
surprises continually." 

'What if we meet a detachment and are com- 
pelled to fight," asked one of the men. 

"I anticipate no such catastrophe," answered 
General Wells. "Brother Brigham has said that 
the Lord will fight our battles for us, and if we 
follow his counsel to the letter, we shall also be 
able to comply with his strictest injunctions, 
which are, to spare life always when possible, and 
not to shed a drop of blood when it can be 
avoided. 'Say your prayers and keep your pow- 
der dry,' was his parting admonition." 

The General sat some time as if In silent medi- 
tation, and the officers present remained silent, 
unwilling to disturb his reflections. 

At length the chief raised his head, and looking 
straight into the eyes of Major Smith, he asked: 

"Major, do you think that you can take our 



116 JOHN STEVENS' COURTSHIP 

small force, about forty men we have here now, 
and passing in the rear of the enemy, turn back 
and burn the supply trains on the road?" 

The Major returned the intent gaze of the Gen- 
eral, and while a dusky gleam shot through the 
red-brown depths of his own eyes, he only re- 
plied in words: 

"Yes, sir; I think I can." 

"Very well, sir, you can consider yourself under 
orders to carry out the plan I have just now indi- 
cated. The council is adjourned." 

That these men could, at the close of their por- 
tentious council, kneel down and ask God to bless 
them and assist them in their undertaking, may 
seem strange, but they were banded together to 
protect the lives of their fellow-men shut up in 
the narrow valleys of the lower country, and they 
felt that if God did not interpose His power, the 
soldiers, accompanied as they were by a horde of 
blasphemous, reckless, licentious camp-followers 
and brawlers, would not only kill and plunder, but 
they would also decoy and destroy their fair wives 
and daughters. 

They were facing no imaginary terrors, for the 
pangs of Illinois and Missouri were not yet blot- 
ted from the memory of even their babes. No 
blood would be shed, except in self-defense, but 
every man there was prepared to pour his life- 
current out like water upon the ground, if neces- 
sary, to protect their beloved homes and families 



IN ECHO CANYON 117 

and their honored leaders. God was their father 
and to Him they appealed. 

"Say your prayers and keep your powder dry/' 
had been the counsel of President Young, and 
they were united as one man to carry out his in- 
structions. 

One of the first men spoken to by Lot Smith 
was quiet John Stevens, a man after Smith's own 
heart. No need of much talk between these two, 
as they divined each other's wishes and purposes 
without need for words and explanations. 

There was some delay, consequent upon break- 
ing up camp, so that it was early twilight when 
the small detachment rode out upon the open 
prairie. The Major called John Stevens to his 
side, and to him in a few words related as they 
rode along some of the conversation overheard in 
the camp of the enemy. 

As John listened to the wicked threats of the 
dissolute officers concerning the fair daughters of 
his people, he was seized with a sudden, passion- 
ate anger, and for a few moments he could think 
of nothing but to heap curses upon their wicked 
heads, and he longed with murderous longing, to 
have one of them just now under his own clenched 
hands that he might strangle the pride and the 
devil out of him. 

His curses were not uttered aloud, however, 
and when he recovered himself, he heard his com- 
manding officer ask: 



118 JOHN STEVENS' COURTSHIP 

"What's the matter, Stevens, are you an- 
noyed?" 

"Perhaps ! I was not old enough to do any good 
in Illinois ; but now well, I am glad, major, that 
you permitted me to accompany you on this trip." 

"Stevens, we are of the same stripe; but we 
must both remember our orders, and no matter 
what the provocation may be, we must shed no 
blood, unless compelled to do so. We both under- 
stand this, and yet, it is as hard for me as it is for 
you, my friend." 

The next morning, just before sunrise, Major 
Smith called John's attention to a speck on the 
eastern horizon. 

"Let us go forward carefully, Stevens ; we must 
be sure as to numbers and conditions of this on- 
coming train." 

"There are only half a dozen teams as I make 
them out." 

An hour's ride verified Stevens' keen power of 
sight. Riding swiftly up to the flurried team- 
sters, Lot Smith pre-emptorily ordered them to 
turn back ; and turn back they did. But our moun- 
tain soldiers had other work to do, and so they 
rode forward for an hour. 

"Major, I have a feeling that it would be well to 
take a look again at those teams we ordered to 
follow us. I can't see anything of their dust," said 
John, as they rode along. 

The major turned on his horse and scanned the 



IN ECHO CANYON 119 

horizon behind them with shaded eyes and 
thoughtful mind. 

"Stevens, take fifteen or twenty of the boys and 
go back there, and see if our orders have been 
obeyed. Meanwhile I will ride forward slowly." 

Three hours after this, Stevens returned and re- 
ported that he had found the train once more 
headed westward; whereupon he had unloaded 
the freight, and set fire to the whole lot. The 
teamsters were preparing to come eastward again 
on their animals. 

"Good, now let us ride eastward as fast as we 
can." 

Turning in the direction of the Green River 
bluffs, the men rode into a small clump of willows 
by the stream, and decided to get some sleep be- 
fore proceeding further. It was sorely needed, 
and proved refreshing to the band of weary men. 

The next morning before daybreak they were 
in the saddle ; and before riding an hour, the major 
discovered a cloud of dust coming irom the old 
'Mormon" trail. 

Riding fiercely into camp, Lot Smith demanded 
to see the captain. 

"Captain Simpson is out huntin' cattle; and I 
guess if you want him you will have to hunt him," 
replied one of the teamsters. 

'I'll look after your captain," bluntly announced 
Lot, and then cocking his own gun as a signal to 
his men to follow suit, he quietly added, "but yo" 



120 JOHN STEVENS' COURTSHIP 

fellows can just fork over your shooting irons; 
we are wanting some implements of that kind just 
now." 

There was a flash in the red-brown eyes of Lot 
Smith, and every teamster carefully gathered up 
his pistol or gun and delivered it over to Stevens, 
who distributed them among the men. 

Leaving Stevens in charge of the camp, Lot 
Smith rode out to meet the captain, whose name 
was Simpson. He was driving in some animals, 
and Lot simply said : "Captain, I am here on urg- 
ent business." 

The man addressed was no coward, and his eyes 
flashed as he demanded the nature of that busi- 
ness. 

"Just hand over your pistols, and I will let you 
know the nature of it," answered Smith. 

Spurring his horse towards the train, Simpson 
replied: "No man ever took my pistols yet; and 
if you think you can without first killing me, try 
it." 

They were all the time riding full gallop to- 
wards the train. 

"I admire a brave man, captain, but I don't like 
blood. You insist on me killing you, which would 
only take a minute, but I don't want to do it. If 
you will take the trouble to look that way, cap- 
tain, instead of glaring into my eyes, you will see 
that your teamsters are in a ticklish situation." 

They had ridden as close together as their pant- 



IN ECHO CANYON 121 

ing, reeking horses would allow, each looking fire 
and death into the blazing eyes of the other; but 
when Simpson raised his eyes and saw his own 
teamsters huddled together, unarmed and shiver- 
ing, under the cocked guns of the mountaineers, 
he turned to Smith and muttered: "You have me 
at a bitter disadvantage." 

"We don't need that advantage, captain. What 
would you do if I should give up your arms?" 

"I'll fight you," answered the captain, between 
his teeth. 

The two had now reached the camp. 

"Well, we know something about that, too, 
Take up your arms." 

The teamsters shrank back as one man. 

"Not by a d d sight," one of them exclaimed. 
"We came out here to whack bulls, and not to 
fight." 

"What do you say to that, captain?" asked 
Smith. 

With another violent oath, the captain ground 
his teeth and replied : "If I had been here before, 
and they had refused to fight, I would have killed 
every man of them." 

Major Smith was too brave a man not to be 
touched by this manly, yet reckless spirit; and 
after some parley with Stevens, he ordered his 
men to give Simpson two of the loaded guns, with 
two of the loaded wagons, to keep his men from 
starvation until their return to the Eastern States, 



122 JOHN STEVENS' COURTSHIP 

and then ordering all out of the way, he called out 
for a big burly Irishman, a non-"Mormon," who 
had followed Stevens from the trains the day be- 
fore, and had offered to join their forces: "Here, 
Dawson, you can put the torch to these trains ; it 
is very proper for the Gentiles to spoil the Gen- 
tiles." 

The whole train of fifty-two wagons was 
burned ; after which the mountaineers rode away, 
telling the teamsters that they could take what 
provisions they had secured for themselves to 
their comrades, a few miles away, and then re- 
turn ; and if any attempt were made to extinguish 
the flames, summary punishment would be ad- 
ministered to the offenders. 




XI 
"IN THE VALLEY OR HELL" 

j, , uHE details of that peculiar and providen- 
I tial winter cf 1857-8 are written in lines 
of vivid interest and incident through 
the pages of recorded history. The pen 
would fain linger to describe how Lot Smith and 
his brave companions followed up their arranged 
course, burning grass and trees, tearing up 
bridges, and demolishing houses or huts of shel- 
ter everywhere along the road. 

Fort Bridger, the point to which the army of 
Utah had made its slow, plainful way, was a mass 
of ruins when entered by Colonel Albert Sidney 
Johnston and his half -frozen soldiers and the rem- 
nants of his trains and stock. I cannot refrain 
from giving the words of the report of this awful 
march, made to Congresss by the two command- 
ing officers, Colonel Johnston and Colonel St. 
George Cooke. 

The condition of the main division is thus stat- 
ed by Colonel Johnston: 

"The expedition was now ordered to Fort Bridger, 
and at every step the difficulties increased. There were 
only thirty-five miles to be traversed, but excepting on 



124 JOHN STEVENS' COURTSHIP 

the margin of a few slender streams, the country 
through which our route lay is the barest of desert land. 
There is no shelter from the chilly blasts of this moun- 
tain solitude, where even in November, the thermom- 
eter sometimes sinks to 16 degrees below zero. There is 
no fuel but the wild sage and willow; and there is little 
pasture for the half-frozen cattle. Our march com- 
menced on the sixth of November, and on the previous 
night five hundred of our strongest cattle were taken by 
the 'Mormons." The trains extended over six miles, 
and all day long sleet and snow fell on the retreating 
column. Some of the men were frost bitten, and the 
exhausted animals were goaded by their drivers, until 
many of them fell dead in their traces. At sunset the 
troops camped wherever they could find a particle of 
shelter, some under bluffs, and some in the willow 
copses. At daybreak the camp was surrounded by the 
carcasses of frozen cattle, of which several hundred had 
perished during the night. Still, as the trains arrived 
from the rear, each one halted for a day or more, giv- 
ing time for the cattle to graze and rest on such scant 
herbage as they could find. To press forward more rap- 
idly was impossible, for it would have cost the lives of 
most of the draft animals; to find shelter was equally 
impossible, there was none. There was no alternative 
but to proceed slowly and persistently, saving as many 
as possible of the horses, mules and oxen. Fifteen days 
were required for this difficult operation." 

Arrived at Fort Bridget, though they found the 
whole place in ruins, the camp was struck, and 
tents were erected. Here the army of the United 
States wintered, calling the camp Fort Scott. 

A fine commentary on the foolish extravagance 
and thoughtless waste of money involved in the 



"IN THE VALLEY OR HELL" 125 

fitting out of this disastrous campaign was fur- 
nished by the opening of the few supply wagons 
left them by their relentless pursuers. The wag- 
ons loaded with provisions had been burned; the 
wagons that survived were filled with bedticks 
and camp kettles. For two thousand six hundred 
men, wintering in a region seven thousand feet 
above the sea level, where at night the thermom- 
eter always sank below zero, there were three 
thousand one hundred and fifty bedticks, and only 
seven hundred and twenty -three blankets; there 
were one thousand five hundred pairs of epau- 
lettes and metallic scales, but only nine hundred 
coats and six hundred overcoats ; there were three 
hundred and seven cap-covers, and only one hun- 
dred and ninety caps; there were one thousand 
and ninety military stocks ; some of the men were 
already barefooted and others had no covering for 
their feet but moccasins, while there were only 
eight hundred and twenty-three pairs of boots and 
six hundred pairs of stockings. One wagon was 
entirely freighted with camp-kettles ; with nothing 
to cook, and no salt with which to season their 
nothingness. 

An extract from Colonel St. George Cooke's re- 
port gives quite a dismal picture of his own di- 
vision. He says: 

"The north wind and drifting snow became severe; 
the air seemed turned to frozen fo?, nothing could be 
seen ; we were struggling in a freezing cloud. The lofty 



126 JOHN STEVENS' COURTSHIP 

wall of Three Crossings was a happy relief; but the 
guide who had lately passed there was relentless in pro- 
nouncing that there was no grass at that point. As he 
promised grass and shelter two miles further, we 
marched on, crossing twice more the rocky stream, half- 
choked with snow and ice; finally he led us behind a 
great granite rock, but all too small for the promised 
shelter. Only a part of the regiment could huddle there 
in the deep snow; whilst the long night through the 
storm continued, and fearful eddies, above, below and 
behind, drove the falling and drifting snow. Meanwhile 
the animals were driven once more across the stream, 
to the base of the granite ridge, which faced the storm, 
but where there was grass. They refused to eat; the 
mules huddled together, moaning piteously, while some 
of the horses broke from the guard and went back to 
the ford. The next day, better camping ground was 
reached ten miles farther on. On the morning of the 
eighth, the thermometer marked 44 degrees below the 
freezing point; but in this weather and through deep 
snow, the men made eighteen miles, and the following 
day nineteen miles, to the next camping ground on Bit- 
ter Creek, on the Sweetwater. On the 10th, matters 
were still worse. Herders, left to bring up the rear, with 
the stray mules, could not force them from the valley, 
and they were left to perish. Nine horses were also 
abandoned. At night the thermometer marked twenty- 
five degrees below zero; nearly all the tent pins were 
broken, and nearly forty soldiers and teamsters were on 
the sick list, most of them being frost-bitten. The earth 
has no more lifeless, treeless, grassless desert; it con- 
tains scarcely a wolf to glut itself on the hundreds of 
dead and frozen animals which, for thirty miles, nearly 
blocked the road." 

Such was the condition in which this flower of 



"IN THE VALLEY OR HELL" 127 

the American army found itself when about ready, 
as they supposed, to enter the Valley of the Great 
Salt Lake and subdue a handful of unoffending 
and simple-hearted people. Something was cer- 
tainly done by the small band of hardy men who 
followed and surrounded the army with harassing 
circumstances ; but they did little compared with 
the forces which were brought to bear by the 
God of nature, who undertook to fight this battle 
according to His own good pleasure and plan. 



XII 
THE FRIEND OF BRIGHAM YOUNG 

SHE bright fire upon the wide hearthstone 
in Aunt Clara's sitting room in Great 
Salt Lake City seemed all the brighter to 
the young man who opened the cheeful 
green door late in the afternoon on the 24th 
day of February, 1858. The slow moving figure 
of Aunt Clara swung around from her busy loom 
in the corner, as she looked to see who her visitor 
was. 

"You, John? I thought you were in Echo Can- 
yon or in San Bernardino, or on the Southern 
Mexican route." 

"So I was till this morning ; I have come to see 
if you will take a stranger for a few days, who is 
sent to you by Governor Young." 

"Anyone sent from President Young is wel- 
come, and John, anyone you bring is welcome 
also." 

John Stevens thanked her and added that he 
would return shortly with his guest, and then 
departed as silently and swiftly as he had come. 

"Ellen," called Aunt Clara to the girl whose 
spinning wheel whirred from the kitchen, "bring 
some more wood for the fire-plac*, and put the 



THE FRIEND OF BRIGHAM YOUNG 129 

clean white blankets in the front bedroom. Have 
we enough white flour to make some biscuits?" 

Ellen came into the sitting-room, followed by 
her friend Dian, who was busily engaged in knit- 
ting at some large, coarse but warm socks. Dian 
did not stop as she walked, but knitted away as if 
life depended upon the "stunt" being accom- 
plished before the dusk should come upon her. 

"Why do you want to make biscuits tonight, 
Aunt Clara?" asked Ellen. 

The answer produced much scurrying of the 
girl's quick feet, and in less than half an hour, the 
table was set in the clean front sitting room, shin- 
ing with the few cherished china pieces brought 
from the early colonial days into these bleak moun- 
tain valleys by this Puritan daughter from New 
England's wave-washed shores. Ellen set some 
eggs to wait their turn at the great open fire-place, 
and in the covered bake skillet were browning 
the cream biscuits which only Aunt Clara could 
compound from the various chemical resultants 
of lye made from wood-ashes and the pleasant 
acid of soured cream. Serviceberry preserves 
glowed darkly through the one precious glass 
dish, and soft Dutch cheese was molded into oval 
richness on a china saucer. A pitcher of foaming 
milk testified to its recent cold storage; and a 
plate of doughnuts flanked the cheese. It was a 
hasty meal, but none the less appetizing ; and was 
ready none too soon. 



130 JOHN STEVENS' COURTSHIP 

A strong yet quick rap at the front door intro- 
duced John Stevens, to be followed by a dusty, 
travel-stained man, of small stature, and of an ex- 
ceedingly dignified mein, yet looking very feeble 
and ill. 

"Mrs. Tyler, let me introduce Dr. Osborne," 
said John gravely, and the gentleman bowed cour- 
teously over the extended hand of his hostess. 
The lady looked at the traveler with a curious half 
remembrance in her black eyes, but the "doctor" 
responded with only a grave salute, as he followed 
his hostess into the low-ceiled bedchamber, just 
off the sitting-room. 

"John," said Aunt Clara, when she returned, "I 
have surely seen that gentleman somewhere, but I 
can't tell where for the life of me. He is very tired 
and looks sick;" and she gazed thoughtfully and 
inquiringly at dusty John Stevens, who only 
stroked his long beard and gazed kindly at her 
without reply. 

"Hurry, John," called Ellen from the inner 
kitchen door; "supper is all ready, and if you are 
going to eat with this gentleman, you will need 
to hurry and wash. Come out here to the porch ; 
I have water and a clean towel for you." 

Dian was still knitting away for dear life, near 
the small-framed west window ; John halted a mo- 
ment at her side. 

"What's the hurry?" he asked, laconically, as 
he touched the dark grey ribbed stocking swing- 



THE FRIEND OF BRIGHAM YOUNG 131 

ing from the shining needles in her deft fingers. 

"Oh, it's for the Utah militia boys. Aunt Clara 
has kept us girls knitting and spinning, sewing 
and weaving, night and day, for the soldiers. We 
don't mind, for it's all we can do to help along." 

"Any particular soldier?" he queried, indifferent- 
ly. Dian glanced up to discover a latent meaning, 
but John's cool gaze gave her no clue. However, 
a girl flings many chance shots, and some are sure 
to hit. So she replied with a supercilious accent : 
"Oh, I promised Charlie Rose to knit all the socks 
he needed for the expedition. Will you take these 
to him?" 

"Certainly," answered John, gravely. He turned 
and left her, saying : "Charlie will be real grateful 
for your kindness." 

"How provoking men can be," thought Dian. 

Left with Dian, Aunt Clara stood in the center 
of the floor, her dark eyes fixed in an absent- 
minded stare, so common to her when she was 
trying to puzzle out some mental problem that 
eluded her. Where had she seen her visitor? 
Dian hurried away to her home across the way, 
ignorant both of Aunt Clara's problem or its pos- 
sible solution. 

As soon as the supper was despatched, Aunt 
Clara followed her two guests out of the front 
door, and said softly to John, "Come back after 
your interview with the President, John; I have 
something to tell you." 



132 JOHN STEVENS' COURTSHIP 

John nodded assent, and he and the traveler 
melted away into the freezing gloom of the win- 
ter's darkness. 

But John did not return with his visitor till af- 
ter midnight, and then, finding the front door on 
the latch, as was usual in that safe and honest pio- 
neer town, he guided his guest by the light of the 
fire into the front chamber, now somewhat 
warmed by the open door from the sitting room, 
and, lighting the tallow candle left on the light- 
stand by the bedside for his guest, he softly made 
all as comfortable as he could and then left the 
traveler to seek a much-needed repose. 

Who was the traveler and what was his busi- 
ness with President Young? This was the 
thought that flashed and wandered in and out of 
the sleepless brain of Aunt Clara, hour after hour, 
in that still and cold night. She knew much of her 
people's inner, unwritten history, for hers was the 
silent tongue and quick sympathy which drew all 
men, as well as women, to her tender heart and 
warm hearthstone for help and counsel. She had 
been the trusted friend of the great Prophet Jos- 
eph Smith, and to him she had given more than 
a human devotion ; she had accorded him his place 
beside the greatest martyrs in Biblical history. 
She was likewise the confidential friend of his 
successor, Brigham Young; to Aunt Clara the 
great Pioneer often looked when he had a deli- 
cate task which needed the quickness and subtlety 



THE FRIEND OF BRIGHAM YOUNG 133 

of a woman's help. And now she could not sleep 
till she had puzzled out her puzzle, and had an- 
swered the challenge of her unerring memory. 

Daylight had brought the answer. Aunt Clara 
was up early, and, by the light of her candle, was 
kneading the loaves for the day's baking. To 
her soon came Ellen, intent on finishing her spin- 
ning and reeling before daylight should bring 
breakfast and interruption. 

"Do you suppose that this is another of those 
splendid United States soldiers?" asked Ellen, her 
feet stepping off the regular rythm of the whiz- 
zing yarn, as it whirled and spun from the steel 
point into fine threads under the flying fingers of 
the industrious girl. Her wheel paused in its on- 
ward circling flight to catch Aunt Clara's answer : 

"No, dear; if he were, John would have taken 
him down to the Salt Lake House. And how 
could John bring in a soldier? They are all out 
east. John has been down to San Bernardino." 

Evidently Aunt Clara herself had been busy 
with the same question, which still did not possess 
so vital an interest for youth as for experienced 
age. Youth leaned upon the wisdom of Brigham 
Young, and the proved Providence which drew 
them safely from most difficulties; maturity 
grasped the dangers and difficulties with surer 
fear, and sought to find answers to every prob- 
lem. 

"Well, one thing is certain, Aunt Clara. Pres- 



134 JOHN STEVENS' COURTSHIP 

ident Young has kept the soldiers out of the Val- 
ley, and the winter is half over." 

"True, dear; but no one but God knows what 
is ahead of us just now. One thing just now, 
however, is to get this yarn all spun, reeled and 
woven into good coats for our soldiers;" and Aunt 
Clara slid into her seat before the huge loom, as 
if to shut off further discussion. 

When the traveler came into the room two 
hours later, he found the wintry sun well started 
on his morning pilgrimage and his hostess placing 
his modest breakfast on the table in the sitting 
room; he noted every point of the innate refine- 
ment and peace which filled the small place with 
more than hurnan sweetness. The delicately cro- 
cheted white window-curtains, the cushioned rush- 
bottomed chairs, all of them garnished neatly with 
antimacassars, tied with green ribbons; the win- 
dows filled with geraniums and blooming petu- 
nias ; and the great hand-loom in the corner of the 
roomy sitting-room only added to its homelike 
air. 

He walked up to the fire-place and as he 
stretched out his hands to the blaze, he said cor- 
dially : 

"Well, Aunt Clara, have you found me out 
yet?" 

"Yes, Colonel Haines, I discovered you not 
more than three hours ago." 
"What was your clue?" 



THE FRIEND OF BRIGHAM YOUNG 135 

"You spoke of our people last night as your 
friends ; there is but one man in the United States 
who thus refers to this hunted people." 

"I had no idea that I could remain so long in- 
cognito to those keen eyes and ears of yours, Aunt 
Clara. You see "I've not forgotten the quaint 
Yankee term by which all of your friends desig- 
nated you in Nauvoo?" 

"Have you had your interview with the Presi- 
dent?" 

"Yes, and I must say again, what I have said 
before: if the government of this country knew 
Brigham Young as I know him, they would honor 
themselves by honoring him with every trust and 
responsibility they could bestow." 

"Ah, Colonel, how few men ever get human 
perspective. Only a true man himself may dis- 
cover truth and honor in another." 

"I find your people very sore, and naturally so ; 
but President Young has wisely agreed to wel- 
come Governor Gumming into the Territory, and 
I think he will permit the army to be quartered 
somewhere, not too near your settlements ; I can 
appreciate his dislike to bringing the turbulent 
elements of army life into too close a juxtaposi- 
tion with your innocent and sylvan communities. 
Yet the great government of which we are all 
proud factors has sent an army here right or 
wrong to be quartered within the confines of this 
Territory; and I was sure that President Young 



136 JOHN STEVENS' COURTSHIP 

only needed the assurance that Governor Gum- 
ming comes here as an element of peace, and not 
as a casus belli, to accept wisely and quietly the 
unfortunate situation. Captain Van Arden has 
been a good friend to your people, my dear lady. 
We are to hold another council meeting this morn- 
ing, and then I shall take myself from under your 
hospitable roof and go on my way." 

"Surely, Colonel, you will not think of taking 
up another journey in this terrible winter season, 
and you in the delicate state of health which is 
evidenced in the lines of pain just now showing 
upon your face?" 

"Fear not, friend Clara. Your president prom- 
ised me last night that my life should be spared 
to complete this and other good works; and you 
know that I look upon Brigham Young as a 
prophet." 

Aunt Clara moved quietly about the room for 
a few moments ; then, coming up to the table once 
more, she said reverently, with the deep tender- 
ness that only a devout woman may express in 
voice and eyes: 

"Friend Thomas, I feel that God has sent you 
here to put a stop to this terrible misunderstand- 
ing and tragedy." 

"Dear old friend, you are just repeating the 
words of our mutual friend and President, Brig- 
ham Young, last night, as he gave me his good- 
night hand-clasp. And now tell me who is that 



THE FRIEND OF BRIGHAM YOUNG 137 

exceedingly pretty girl who was in here last 
night?" 

"That is the daughter of my dead sister; she 
lives with me and assists me as my own daughter 
would have done, if she had lived." 

"She is certainly good to look upon. May I 
charge you to look well after her? The future ad- 
vent of many strange men into this primitive so- 
ciety of yours will call for the closest watching 
and the most loving care on the part of you older 
ones." 

"Ellen is the light of our eyes ; she is a good girl, 
Colonel Haines; very loving and sincere; she is 
easy to lead and asks only for love in return." 

"Ah, Aunt Clara, it is the paradox of human na- 
ture that man, who should be the protector of 
woman, is too often her assailant; and that the 
kindly virtues of a woman which make her the 
best of wives and mothers, too often renders her 
the easiest prey to a wicked man." 

"Have you noted anything wrong with my El- 
len, sir?" asked Aunt Clara, in mournful surprise. 

"Not so. She is just a little too endowed with 
natural loveliness for her complete safety in this 
unhappy world." 

Then, saying a few words of gratitude, the Col- 
onel, or "Doctor Osborne," arose and put on his 
heavy army cloak. 

"May I ask you one question, Colonel?" 

"A dozen, if you will." 



138 JOHN STEVENS' COURTSHIP 

"Why do you come here to us under an as- 
sumed name?" 

"Ah, that is easy to answer; for you yourself 
have riddled me my riddle. I had received such 
generous and courteous treatment in your old un- 
happy city of'Nauvoo, and had made so many 
warm friends there, that I wondered if it could be 
that you had changed into the creatures that your 
enemies in Washington tried to convince me you 
were ; so I chose to come under a borrowed name, 
and thus test all round your quality of hospitality. 
And my good friend Aunt Clara Tyler has proved 
for me all that I sought to discover." 

The interview at the President's office that day 
was so satisfactory that within twenty-four hours, 
John Stevens was once more at the head of an es- 
cort which was .to convey Colonel Haines, the 
mediator, the friend, and the great heart, on his 
mission of mercy and peace into the lines of Fed- 
eral armies quartered at Fort Scott, on Black's 
Fork. 




XIII 
DIANTHA WEARS CHARLIE'S RING 

HE mission of Colonel Haines was of im- 
mediate effect. The fear of desperate 
warfare was over. But there yet re- 
mained much for the people of Utah to 
do and suffer. 

John Stevens was constantly in the saddle dur- 
ing the few months of the Spring of 1858, though 
this did not prevent him from keeping a pretty 
close watch on Miss Diantha Winthrop. He was 
quite familiar with the tenor of her recent encour- 
agement to Charlie Rose. He was also aware of 
the quiet yet effective snubs she had administered 
to that resplendent young Englishman, Henry 
Boyle. In a way known only to himself, John 
Stevens contrived to be aware of most things in 
which he himself was interested. 

It was early in the evening of the first week of 
April that he rode down from the northern camps 
into the valley ; as he passed the first farm-houses 
outside the city, he caught sight of a wagon-load 
of young people, evidently just returning from 
some merry-making, and he was conscious of the 



140 JOHN STEVENS' COURTSHIP 

glory of Dian's hair and the flash of her bright 
eyes, even before he heard the silvery peal of 
laughter with which she was adding to the stings 
of a taunt administered to some luckless wight of 
the party. The music of her laughter was at once 
the charm and the despair of all Dian's lovers. 
The notes of that peal always reminded John of a 
chime of Swiss silver bells, with which a strolling 
musician had once delighted the city. They rip- 
pled and trilled along the waves of ether with 
enchanting melody. Her friends will remember 
many youthful graces of this well-known Dian, 
but none which were more charming than her 
ready, irresistible, musical laughter. It was never 
forced nor insincere, but was always the expres- 
sion of the truth-loving and buoyant soul within. 
It did not add to John's own merriment to see the 
girl enjoying herself so heartily while under the 
gallant protection of Charlie Rose; as his horse 
lingered some distance behind the wagon, he could 
pick out the "crowd" even in the cool dusk of the 
early evening, and locate all the incipient flirta- 
tions. It may be that the tired man felt the in- 
congruousness of laughter when his own heart 
was hot and sore because of the events just now 
transpiring; but he was too just not to recognize 
the further fact that youth is a time for joy and 
forgetful laughter; and, furthermore, all possible 
excitement and fear had been wisely suppressed 
by Brigham Young. As soon as he reached a side 



DIANTHA WEARS CHARLIE'S RING 141 

street, John turned away, and cantered into the 
city to deliver his messages. 

The next evening, as he was striding down the 
State Road he met the "crowd" face to face. They 
were returning from singing practice. 

"Oh, John," called Ellen, "do tell us all the 
news. Here's Tom Allen trying to make us be- 
lieve that the President is for deserting our good 
homes and leading us into the wilderness. It isn't 
true, is it?" 

"Would you rather stay here under the rule of 
an army, or follow your leaders into another place 
of safety and peace ?" asked John, gently and seri- 
ously. 

"John," said Charlie Rose, now sober and ear- 
nest, "I am trying to get these girls to understand 
that they are about to have a chance to be brave 
and womanly. It's stiff work trying to make a 
girl see that there is anything but fun ahead." 

"Some girls," corrected Diantha, with lofty 
emphasis. 

"Come into Aunt Clara's sitting-room and let 
me get a word with her; then, maybe, you shall 
get another," said John, quietly. 

Sobered and awed, the little group of young 
people filed, almost silently, into the familiar gath- 
ering place. Dian refused to sit down ; her quick 
thought had followed the serious mood of John 
Stevens and instantly her whole attention was 
fixed on one idea ; what could she do in this crisis 



142 JOHN STEVENS' COURTSHIP 

a girl and yet so full of devotion to that cause 
her friends were defending? 

"Aunt Clara, you can tell the crowd how very 
serious our condition is at present. They seem to 
have forgotten Nauvoo," said John, possibly glad 
to sober these young people. Charlie Rose, whose 
face was quite flushed with the news he had just 
heard on the streets, walked over to the loom in 
the corner and waited impatiently for Aunt Clara 
to finish tearing off her last thread. 

It was impossible for John Stevens to be un- 
conscious of the fact that Charlie Rose was stand- 
ing very near to Dian, as she leaned against the 
loom, so near that almost the loose flying tendrils 
of her yellow hair were against his shoulder. But 
with stern grip on his own nerves, he sat care- 
lessly on the bench and bent his head slightly as 
he examined the pattern of his braided buckskin 
pantaloons. 

Aunt Clara felt the tense atmosphere surround- 
ing her, and she waited in silence for John to 
speak, for she was sure he had something serious 
to tell them. That he had something to say was 
sufficient for others to remain quiet. 

"Boys, how many of you can be ready to start 
at midnight for the army of the United States 
camped now at Fort Scott?" There was a breath- 
less silence for an instant, and then: 

"All of us," quietly answered Charlie Rose. 

"We shall leave the Eagle Gate, then, at twelve 



DIANTHA WEARS CHARLIE'S RING 143 

o'clock, boys ; I shall expect you to be there. Bring 
your usual outfit." 

"John," said Aunt Clara, with a note of anxiety 
in her voice, "what is it now?" 

"We are to meet and escort Governor Cumming 
into the Territory." 

"Governor Cumming? Is Brigham Young no 
longer Governor of Utah then?" asked Charlie. 

"I have this day delivered the official informa- 
tion that the President of the United States has 
appointed a new Governor for our unhappy Terri- 
tory. It is for this reason, ostensibly, that the 
flower of the American army has come out into 
the wilderness of the West. Thousands of trained 
soldiers have been sent to install one man in a 
Territory of a few hundred pioners." John spoke 
bitterly, but it was not his to question. He was 
but to obey. 

"What is the name of this new Governor?" 
asked Dian with quick sarcasm in her tones. 

"His name is Cumming, and so far as I am able 
to judge, he is not to blame for this blunder of 
Buchanan's. But, boys, meet me at the Eagle 
Gate at midnight." 

"Oh, John, will the soldiers kill us all, or drive 
us from our homes?" asked Ellen, tearfully. 

"Only God can answer that," replied John, sol- 
emnly. 

The heart of every girl was thrilled with the 
sense of personal and communal danger. Yet, 



144 JOHN STEVENS' COURTSHIP 

there mingled with it all a paradoxical and fem- 
inine joy in the intrepid character of the men 
who would protect them and their homes in life 
or in death. 

Ellen ran up to Dian, and with her arms around 
her neck, begged her friend to "stay all night." 
Ellen felt suddenly a sense of coming disaster; 
her very heart was choking in her throat, and she 
felt that she must have many people near her. 
Dian was glad to stay ; although her own thoughts 
were not busy with herself, but dwelt upon the 
larger interests of the starving army beyond the 
mountains, who were all human beings, even if 
enemies. Her soul bowed in prayer for Brigham 
Young and the other leaders of her people, whose 
judgment and wisdom must be supreme in this 
the people's most trying hour. 

The days that followed were filled with vague 
rumors of coming disaster. Women clung to their 
little children; men gazed upon their innocent 
daughters and wondered what the future held in 
store for all. They had seen their dear ones 
mobbed, driven and plundered, time and again 
in the past; what would this new disaster bring 
forth? 

Fear and suspense are they not man's most 
dreaded foes? Anything which comes is better 
than the undefinable things which are so feared 
but which rarely happen. And thus the days and 
weeks of that month of suspense which followed 



DIANTHA WEARS CHARLIE'S RING 145 

John Stevens' expedition into the eastern moun- 
tains were far more unendurable to Diantha and 
her girl-friends than the simple events which fol- 
lowed. For, after all, when the day came for the 
entrance of Governor Cumming into the Terri- 
tory, the sun shone, the meadow-larks piped out 
their usual notes of musical inquiry into the 
state of the worm and bug market, the crickets 
hopped nimbly out of the way of the oncoming 
posse of mountaineer soldiers who acted as the 
gubernatorial escort, and the whole party drew 
up to the Salt Lake House, clattered under the 
broad eaves of its western porches, and debouched 
quietly within. The first great act of the ex- 
pected sensation was over, while the second act 
was quite small and inadequate to the tremendous 
overture of dread which had been pounding at the 
ears of the small inland city for so long. Governor 
Cumming proved to be a very generous, whole- 
souled man, and in the historic interview which 
followed between the new and the old Governors 
of the then distracted Territory of Utah, both 
men discovered the elements of candor, truth and 
sincerity in the other, and the bond of mutual un- 
derstanding was not long in forming. The days 
of adjustment and readjustment which followed 
were not days of unmixed confusion and disturb- 
ance, for time was taken in which to dispel fears 
and to form new ties. 

Diantha Winthrop was conscious, in those un 
10 



146 JOHN STEVENS' COURTSHIP 

certain and troublous days, of a certain dissatis- 
faction regarding the outcome of the dramatic be- 
ginnings which her quick intelligence had discov- 
ered in this appalling incident. Like most noble 
if youthful minds, her thoughts had been busy 
with the high purpose and exalted ideals of the 
people. Unlike her volatile friend Ellen, Dian's 
gloomy fears at this period settled around the 
leaders of Her people ; while to little laughing El- 
lie the one important feature of it all was little 
Ellie's own connection with each and every hap- 
pening. It was therefore somewhat of a disap- 
pointment to both girls that there was such a tame 
ending to so tragic a beginning. Governor Gum- 
ming was in the city, he had been properly re- 
ceived by Governor Young, and the whole inci- 
dent was closed, apparently, without even the 
hoisting of the flag. The girls mentioned the mat- 
ter to Aunt Clara, and that good lady only an- 
swered : 

"None but poets and prophets know the differ- 
ence between tragedy and comedy. What you 
feel is going to be tragedy turns out to be comedy, 
and what starts as comedy too often turns into 
tragedy." 

And thus life poured its turbulent stream down 
into the channels of Utah's history and the even- 
ing and the morning made up the scintillating 
days of that trying season. 

Suffice it to say, Governor Gumming was duly 



DIANTHA WEARS CHARLIE'S RING 147 

escorted into the city, and he and his gentle lady- 
wife were suitably quartered. To him Brigham 
Young turned over all the Territorial records, the 
great seal and all insignia of his exalted office; 
all were delivered over safely and formally by 
the maligned "Mormon" leader. But our friend 
John, with his companions Charlie Rose and Tom 
Allen, was kept long weeks in active service out 
in Echo Canyon. The city seemed very lonely to 
Ellen and Dian during those long spring weeks. 

One day in the early spring, some weeks after 
Governor Cumming's entrance into the Valley, 
Dian sought a quiet interview with Aunt Clara, 
hoping to ascertain something definite as to the 
real nature of all the rumors and forebodings 
again quivering in the very air of Great Salt Lake 
City. 

"Dear Aunt Clara," said Dian, when they were 
seated and busily knitting oh, those active, fly- 
ing hands of women which never rested, scarce 
night or day, during those trying months "I am 
so troubled ; my nights are full of unhappy dreams 
and my days are so restless that I cannot accom- 
plish anything worth while. What is all this 
about? Please confide in Ellie and me, dear Aunt 
Clara. I know you enjoy the confidence of the 
leading brethren, and I long to know if it is true 
that the soldiers are going to be allowed to enter 
our beloved Territory? And is Governor Gum- 
ming really our friend?" 



148 JOHN STEVENS' COURTSHIP 

"Governor Gumming is a very liberal and hu- 
mane man, my dear. But it is apparently true 
that we shall have to bow to the will of the gov- 
ernment of this great nation which we all love so 
well, and allow these soldiers, this terrible army, 
to come into the Territory and quarter themselves 
here, for how long no one can tell. Ostensibly 
the army came to install Governor Gumming ; but 
as you know, Governor Gumming has been 
peaceably installed, yet General Johnston insists 
on coming into the Valley. President Young has 
turned over the records and great seal of our Ter- 
ritory which our wicked enemies swore to Pres- 
ident Buchanan we had destroyed, and now Gov- 
ernor Gumming has notified Brother Brigham 
that a Peace Commission may be sent out to this 
Territory to hand us out a Proclamation of Am- 
nesty. And there is the full story." 

"What's a Peace Commission and what is am- 
nesty?" asked Ellen. 

"Surely, my dear! What is amnesty? It is for- 
giveness. And why the United States should deem 
it necessary to send an army out here to crush us 
into submission, when we had never revolted, 
and then think it necessary to send us a proclama- 
tion of amnesty, when we have done nothing 
to be forgiven for, is more than a poor woman can 
understand. However, the plain English of it is 
that someone wanted the army out of the way in 
Washington, others wanted the money that comes 



DIANTHA WEARS CHARLIE'S RING 1,49 

to contractors, and still others don't know any- 
thing about it, except someone has raised another 
cry of 'Down with the Mormons.' Gover- 
nor Gumming hopes to clear everything up with 
the aid of this Peace Commission. But, girls, I 
have something very serious to confide to you; 
next Monday we are to pack up everything that 
can be loaded into wagons, leaving the rest piled 
up with kindlings ready to burn, and then we 
are to start for the South." 

"For the South? Where?" asked the two girls 
in one breath. 

"I cannot tell. Some have already gone quietly 
ahead. We shall pack up everything that we can 
pile in our wagons, and with sufficient provisions 
to last us a year, we shall once more go out into 
the wilderness. This time we shall take to the 
mountains." 

"Oh, Aunt Clara, surely you are not in ear- 
nest?" 

"Girls, this is no time for any of us to be in jest. 
We know not what a day may bring forth. Do 
you get to work at once. And then, when all is 
ready, we shall fill this house with sufficient kind- 
ling to burn every stick and log within twenty- 
four hours of the time when the word is given." 

"Aunt Clara ! Burn this house which you love 
so well? With this dear green door? It's the only 
green door in the city. And all this comfort which 
you have worked so hard to secure? Oh, I can't 



150 JOHN STEVENS' COURTSHIP 

bear the thought. And the lettuce and radishes 
which you sowed on the snow and which are just 
now ready to eat? What about everybody else?" 
asked Ellen, incoherently. 

But no amount of grief on the part of the girls 
could change the condition of things, and after 
awhile the prudent counsels of their good friend 
calmed undue excitement, and they resigned 
themselves to the common fate, willing to share in 
the general affliction as they had shared in the 
common good. Here was tragedy, surely ! When 
least expected, here it was ! Nightfall found them 
all tired out with the day's labor and excitement. 

Evening brought Charlie Rose to the door of 
the quiet sitting-room, and even if they were 
tired, they were glad to see his welcome face. 

"Oh, Charlie, will we all have to go South?" 
asked Ellen, unable to restrain her excitement. 

"Yes, Ellie, I bring word to Aunt Clara that she 
and you must be ready to start tomorrow morn- 
ing for the South. Dian, your folks are to go to- 
morrow also. We didn't expect to go for another 
week, but the government is going to send some 
peace commissioners out to the Territory, and 
they may be as dangerous to our welfare as the 
peacemakers at Carthage. So we shall get away 
tomorrow, as many as can, and as fast as we can. 
'Boil and bubble ; toil and trouble,' " quoted Char- 
lie, mournfully. 

"Aunt Clara, if that is the case, I must hurry 



DIANTHA WEARS CHARLIE'S RING 151 

home and help Rachel ; she may need me ; and you 
and Ellen can get along without me," said Di- 
antha. 

"Oh, I shall be frightened, Dian. Just Aunt 
Clara and me here all this dreadful night," cried 
out Ellen. 

"Hush, child! Why should we be frightened? 
No one wants anything of us. Go right on, Dian ; 
you are needed at home. No doubt my sister 
will be here before long," expostulated Aunt 
Clara. 

Ellen was fain to be comforted; her heart 
yearned for the presence of her dear friend Dian 
in this hour of common peril and distress. Yet 
she had Aunt Clara, and she must be content. 

As Dian left the door, Charlie stood beside her 
and she whispered : 

"Go back, Charlie, and stay with Aunt Clara 
awhile. I am not a bit afraid to run over home 
alone." 

"Dian, let me come with you. I will come back 
to Aunt Clara ; but I can't bear to see you or any 
of our girls out alone on the streets." 

"Why, we always go out on the streets alone, 
when we have any occasion to ; why should we be 
afraid now?" 

But the young man was walking by her side 
even as she protested. As they reached Dian's 
gate he put a detaining hand upon her arm and 
said, earnestly : 



152 JOHN STEVENS' COURTSHIP 

"I have to go back to camp in Echo Canyon to- 
morrow; Dian, will you miss me?" 

The dim darkened new moon was shining down 
upon the young people with the tender radiance 
of spring folly; they were young; Dian's heart 
was very sore with the quivering emotions 
wrought up in the last twenty-four hours. She 
liked Charlie Rose, for he was as wholesome and 
pure as he was honest, and he was always bright 
and gay. The night was very lonely. 

"Of course, we shall miss you, Charlie. All the 
boys, even to Tom Allen, are out in the canyons. 
It is very lonely." 

"You have Henry Boyle left," said her com- 
panion, somewhat maliciously. 

"Pooh!" contemptuously. "He is almost ready 
to apostatize ; he is scared to death over this army 
business. He has asked Governor Gumming to 
let him go out of the Territory under the protec- 
tion of the soldiers." 

"Can that be true, Dian? I would not have 
thought him a traitor as well as a coward." 

"Are not all cowards traitors?" 

"Hardly, Dian. That's too sweeping. But I 
am surprised about Henry. He cut quite a shine 
here for months." 

The girl began to open her gate ; she knew that 
her brother did not approve of young people 
standing at the gate in the late evenings. 

"Dian, listen just one moment ; here, wear this 



DIANTHA WEARS CHARLIE'S RING 153 

ring for me while I am gone; won't you?" As he 
spoke he drew a pretty ring from his finger, evi- 
dently an heirloom in his family. Rings were rare 
in those days, and Dian's eyes sparkled. She 
knew that she was not in love with Charlie; but 
neither was she with anyone else. Why should 
she not wear a ring? 

"I will wear it awhile, Charlie, but I won't keep 
it. You must give it to the girl you are going 
to marry." 

"That's what I'm doing, Dian." 

The tone of his voice startled her with its in- 
tensity ; she drew away from him, half frightened. 

"Here, Charlie, take your ring; I do not want to 
wear it." 

But with instant comprehension of his rash- 
ness, the young man said with a light laugh : 

"Oh, pshaw, Dian ! Oblige me by wearing my 
ring until I find the girl I am to marry. Then I 
will come to you for it." 

Pacified, the girl pushed the ring back on her 
finger, and then at once turned into the gate, 
saying as she did so : 

"I shall not forget you nor any of the boys in 
my prayers, Charlie. Goodnight and goodby." 

And the young man was fain to be content with 
this general parting wish. 



XIV 
"TO YOUR TENTS, O ISRAEL." 



T 



O your tents, O Israel !" 

What a picture of quiet despair melt- 
ing into calm resignation those spring 
months presented! In April there had 
begun that wondrous move into the unknown 
which had been the inspiration and yet the dread 
of President Brigham Young. Only a patriot such 
as he could appreciate the love of home and coun- 
try which had forced this people ten years before 
into a trackless wilderness; no one but a patriot 
could guess what these new sacrifices must mean 
to the hunted and driven people. Ten years of 
peace ! Ten years of hardest labor ever performed 
by any people, at any period ; and now to start out 
into the wilderness again ! Who could tell the suf- 
fering, the anguish of a people whose hearthstones 
were their altars, and whose religion was a home ! 
As the wagon driven by Aunt Clara's own del- 
icate hands turned into the State Road on the 
morning of the 12th of May, 1858, she saw a long, 
straggling trail of wagons ahead of her ; old and 
weather-worn most of them were, having crossed 
the plains many times in the last twelve years. 
There were crowds of little children packed in 



"TO YOUR TENTS, O ISRAEL" 155 

many of the wagons, and in some there groaned 
and writhed the sick and helpless. But all faces 
wore the expression of exalted determination 
borne only by a people whose devotion could help 
them to bid adieu to comfort and ease when duty 
or inspiration gave the ringing cry: 
"To your tents, O Israel!" 
Ah, how often in their broken and turbulent 
history as a people had that clarion cry sounded 
in their ears ! 

And now, once again, Israel was on the march ! 
The usual chatter of women, the laugh of chil- 
dren, the merry exchange of field and farm gossip 
from the men, these common features of their 
communal life were almost hushed in the com- 
mon sorrow which gripped the vitals of every 
wanderer in that straggling train which was con- 
veying twenty thousand souls from Great Salt 
Lake City alone, and thousands more from the 
northern towns, to the mountains! From the 
Eagle Gate clear to the "Point of the Mountain" 
that longest straight street in all the world 
the whole length of that twenty miles of road, 
straight as engineering skill could plant was one 
moving mass of wagons, with and without covers ; 
some with quilts over the wagon boxes, and some 
without boxes or covers ; driven by men, by wom- 
en, and by little boys. Great oxen on some of 
them lumbered heavily along ; horses, mules, and 
even patient cows were harnessed in the proces- 



156 JOHN STEVENS* COURTSHIP 

sion. The dust was blinding ; the day began to be 
hot. Out in the western horizon shone the sil- 
vered edge of the Great Salt Lake, glistening, dia- 
mond-bright, under the ardent sun. 

At Dr. Dunyon's place at the Point of the 
Mountain the wagons of the Winthrop family* 
drew alongside the slower mule team driven by 
Aunt Clara's slender but capable hands; and the 
voice of Ellen Tyler called out from under the 
dusty wagon cover: 

"Rachel, where's Dian? , I have been looking 
for her all the morning." 

"She is just behind in the last wagon. She 
thought she could help grandmother if she stayed 
in that wagon. You get out and ride with her; 
there's plenty of room in there ;" and Rachel halted 
to chat awhile with Aunt Clara. 

Ellen quickly accepted this welcome invitation, 
and hurried back to her friend. 

She found Diantha sitting uncomfortably on a 
high box, leaving the spring seat to be occupied by 
the old lady who was showing signs of great wear- 
iness. 

"Oh, Ellie, I am so glad you have come. Help 
me to unroll this bedding and get a place fixed for 
grandma to lie down. I was sure she could not 
ride on the spring seat, but she wanted to try it 
to save trouble." 

The girls quickly unfastened the huge roll of 
bedding, and with the aid of the lad who was driv- 



"TO YOUR TENTS, O ISRAEL" 157 

ing the team, they made a fairly comfortable bed 
on the boxes inside the wagon. 

"Now, grandma, you try to sleep a little; you 
have not slept a wink all night." 

"Who could sleep, dearie?" answered the plain- 
tive voice of the old lady. 

The girls covered her feet with her shawl, and 
then both of them crowded into the spring seat 
with the driver. 

"Say, Dian, whose ring are you wearing? It 
looks like Charlie's," said the quick voice of Ellen. 

"Whose ring but my own, silly? Should I be 
wearing other people's rings?" 

Ellen was abashed with the little rebuff. She 
was too proud to ask for confidence not willingly 
shared, yet she was sure the ring belonged to her 
friend Charlie; she hastily turned the talk into 
safe, impersonal channels. 

"Don't you wonder where we are going, Dian?" 

"My brother Appleton says we are to stop in 
Provo for awhile, until we know what the army 
is going to do." 

"And where do you think we will go after that?" 

"No one seems to know. I guess President 
Young knows; he knows everything. But he is 
too wise to tell anybody what he thinks, till the 
time comes for action." 

"I have heard Aunt Clara speak as if we were 
bound for a place in Mexico, called Sonora." 

"Well, I am sure I don't care where we go. We 



158 JOHN STEVENS' COURTSHIP 

have had to pick up and leave our beloved homes 
again, driven by those who hate us for our re- 
ligion. Aunt Clara says that not all of these men 
in Washington are so cruel; Col. Haines told her 
that Captain Van Arden was our true friend. And 
there are doubtless others." 

"Did he say that of Captain Van Arden?" asked 
Ellie, her eyes aflame with some pleasant recollec- 
tion of the gallant captain's visit. 

"Indeed he did. And he, together with Colonel 
Haines has persuaded President Buchanan to send 
some peace commissioners out here to try and fix 
up this awful blunder made by Buchanan himself. 
I wonder how it is that men are so easily preju- 
diced against our people?" 

Ellen was not given to general reflections; to 
her, life was an extremely personal affair. So she 
began a running chatter about the news they had 
received of John Stevens. 

"Did you know that John is now one of the chief 
officers in the Utah militia?" 

Dian turned the ring round and round on her 
finger and said nothing in reply to Ellen's chatter. 
She was not a bit interested in John Stevens, nor 
was she prepared to open her own thoughts for 
the keen eyes of her loving friend. There are 
some things that are too hazy in a girl's mind for 
analysis; and Dian was content to listen while 
she idly dreamed of Charlie Rose and what he 
would do about the ring, when he really fell in 



"TO YOUR TENTS, O ISRAEL" 159 

love with a girl. And what would John Stevens 
think about her wearing Charlie's ring? But the 
hours dragged along, night came, and the weary 
travelers camped wherever water and wood could 
be found. Next morning's sun found most of the 
mighty host once more on the dusty highway, 
faces to the South, and with uplifted hearts to a 
Providence that had never forgotten Zion. 

"To your tents, O Israel !" 

Israel was on the march! The high road of 
Destiny might be dusty with blinding prejudice, 
and hot with men's hate and scorn. But Israel 
was just a band of loyal men and women who 
trusted God and feared no man. And so they went 
forth, this modern Israel, singing hymns while 
the issues of life and death wove themselves into 
intricate patterns on the web and woof of the 
mysterious future ! 

The evening shades of the second day found our 
friends halted on the Provo river bottoms, a part 
of that temporary encampment which made the 
small city a veritable summer pioneer metropo- 
lis. 

The long, tiresome journey was at last complet- 
ed, and the Winthrops and Tylers could find no 
better place in all Provo than a low adobe hut, 
which was then used as a bear den by the family 
who had built themselves a new house further up 
the street. Mr. Bruin was taken summarily out of 
his quarters, the boys and children spent several 



160 JOHN STEVENS' COURTSHIP 

hours cleaning out the hut, while the women 
cooked their frugal supper over the campfire, and 
then all retired at a late hour, weary with the long 
two days' travel. 




XV 
I'M A MORMON DYED IN THE WOOL. 

EANWHILE, the men on the frontier in 
Weber Canyon were uneasy and as full 
of vague forebodings of the future as 
were the women and children left in the 
safer shelter of the lower valleys. To be sure, 
the army had been kept out of the Valley for the 
whole winter; and spring had come, and they 
were still outside the confines of the Territory. 

On the morning of May 28th, Colonel Lot Smith 
was ordered to the headquarters of the Utah 
militia. He was closeted with the General for an 
hour. When he emerged, he went at once to the 
tent of John Stevens. 

"Captain Stevens, get Corporal Rose and a 
squad of six men and meet me outside of the 
lines in half an hour ; you have an important duty 
ahead." 

The order was instantly obeyed, and soon the 
little squad was riding out towards Camp Scott. 

Arrived there, after hours of hard riding, they 
showed their passports to the pickets, and were 
at last allowed to enter the lines. As the little 
squad rode rapidly up towards the camp of the 
army, in the near distance, the mountaineers 
noted with interest the picture of tented life, now 

11 



162 JOHN STEVENS' COURTSHIP 

grown so familiar to Stevens, but so novel to the 
eyes of the other young Utahns. The white Sib- 
ley tents, now brown and rusty with the winter's 
use, were planted about the log and wooden 
structures in regular form in the center of the en- 
campment, while blue-coated soldiers could be 
seen through the outer motley fringe of the camp's 
usual followers, pacing in sentry duty, or moving 
to and fro on other duty. The great white city 
rested on the brown and pale green landscape of 
the foothills of the Rocky Mountains like pin- 
ioned birdwings, brooding over the nest of mighty 
enterprises. 

John turned to his companions and said: 
"Corporal Rose, I shall leave you and the men 
here to rest quietly until my return. Remain in 
your saddles and prepare for quick action." 

"Do you anticipate any trouble, Captain Stev- 
ens?" 

"Soldiers do not anticipate. They prepare. I 
may not go armed into the presence of civil and 
military authorities on a message of peace. Hold 
my weapons and my horse until my return." 

Handing his musket to his companion, and 
striding steadily forward, Captain Stevens was 
soon within the outskirts of the great camp at Fort 
Scott. In the rough camp life of the hordes of 
camp followers were mingled shouts of drunken 
laughter, oaths of anger, and the shrill cries of rib- 
ald women. He entered the narrow streets of 



I'M A MORMON DYED IN THE WOOL 163 

rude houses in the edge of the camp, which con- 
sisted of half shacks, half wigwams, and all of 
them altogether abandoned in their reckless at- 
mosphere of rude frontier conviviality. The look 
on the face of the mountaineer as he walked ha- 
stily through this outer fringe of corruption to 
reach the inner city of white orderliness was grim 
and foreboding. 

Passing one of the larger tents in the motley 
village, a drunken man suddenly emerged there- 
from with his pistol swinging in his reckless 
grasp. 

"Who are you?" he demanded of John, reeling 
up and cocking the pistol directly in the face of 
the mountaineer. The drunken eyes of the soldier 
noted the rude garb of the stranger and with 
drunken quickness of malicious wit, he shouted 
noisily : 

"Are you a damned Mormon?" 

With a terrible look in the flashing eyes which 
passed along the gun barrel and pierced the 
very marrow of his assailant, John Stevens an- 
swered, through his clenched teeth: 

"Yes siree! I am a 'Mormon!' Dyed in the 
wool!" 

With a shaking hand the pistol was lowered, 
and the soldier said unsteadily: 

"Well, you're a damned good feller." 

John Stevens turned away in disgust and yef- 
with a quick gratitude for the speedy deliverance. 



164 JOHN STEVENS' COURTSHIP 

And now he reached the entrance to the real 
Camp Scott. 

He showed his passports to the sentry, and 
passed quickly into the tented enclosure, where 
he was soon ushered into the presence of Govern- 
or Gumming and a group of officers, among whom 
were the Peace Commissioners, no doubt, whom 
John Stevens had come to seek. 

Governor Cumming's countenance lighted as 
he met the flashing gaze of John Stevens. 

"So, Captain Stevens, you are to be my escort 
into Great Salt Lake City this second time also?" 

"If that is my duty, I shall perform it even 
more cheerfully than I did before, Governor Gum- 
ming." 

"Spoken like a soldier. But, friend Stevens, I 
want you to enlighten these gentlemen. Excuse 
me, gentlemen, I desire Captain Stevens, who has 
so recently come from the Valley, to tell you offi- 
cers how cordial and friendly his President is." 

Stevens' smile was very grim as he answered: 

"President Brigham Young is always cordial to 
his friends." 

"And always generous, even to his enemies, 
hey, Stevens?" 

"He is just to every one." 

The Governor hastened to cover the slight con- 
fusion he felt at his failure to draw happy assur- 
ances of peace from the mountaineer. At that 
moment a slim, dark, handsome young officer, 



I'M A MORMON DYED IN THE WOOL 165 

whom Stevens recognized with a flash of his keen 
eye and quick memory, stepped jauntily out of the 
group beside the Governor and said lightly : 

"My good man, why does your rebel leader court 
death and extinction in this defiant fashion?" 

John strode towards the insulting speaker, and 
at that moment the Governor of the new Territory 
realized that he had more than a war of two bel- 
ligerent forces ; he had a religious as well as a so- 
ciological problem on his hands. He felt his own 
powerlessness, even to prevent sudden conflict 
between these two rash youths. 

Suddenly an orderly entered and after saluting 
he announced : 

"Governor Powell and Major McCulloch." 

The entrance of these two men made a diver- 
sion. But neither the soldier nor the mountaineer 
forgot his personal grievance. 

"Major McCulloch, here is the leader of the es- 
cort which Governor Young has sent to convey 
the Peace Commissioners into the Valley. I trust 
you will be mutually benefited by your acquaint- 
ance. Stevens is a fearless soldier and a just man. 
Captain Stevens, Major McCulloch and Governor 
Powell of Kentucky are the two Peace Commis- 
sioners sent out here by our gracious executive, 
President Buchanan." 

"Captain Stevens, were you one of that gallant 
band of boys who went to San Bernardino in the 
'Mormon' Battalion?" asked Major McCulloch. 



166 JOHN STEVENS' COURTSHIP 

John signified that he was, and the bluff old sol- 
dier grasped his hand and shook it heartily. 

"Well, sir, I may think your leaders a damned 
set of hypocrites, but you men, and the women 
too, as to that, sir, who undertook that most dam- 
nable and difficult march in the way you did, and 
carried it through so gloriously, sir, you have all 
my hearty admiration. I am glad to see you, 
sir." 

John responded to this genuine outburst with 
mingled feelings; he could but acknowledge the 
genuineness of the man, but the strictures upon 
the leaders of his people stung John almost to the 
quick reply. Again Governor Cumming was to 
the rescue. 

"Gentlemen, we have no time for reminiscence. 
We must to business ! There is no time to lose." 

"Damn me, sir, I am not wasting time when I 
tell a man he is one of a body of heroes. Damn 
it, man, do you know anything about that tre- 
mendous march of half-clad, half-starved troops 
through a howling barren waste, over deserts and 
mountains, burying their dead, and nursing their 
sick, without one day's rest or pause? Damn it, 
man, you seem to be pretty ignorant of the great- 
est march undertaken by American or other sol- 
diers. Do you know, sir, that that company of 
rough, untrained soldiers planted the first Amer- 
ican flag on the soil of Lower California? Stev- 
ens, I am proud to take your hand. I saw your 



I'M A MORMON DYED IN THE WOOL 167 

name on the muster roll and am glad to meet 
you." 

Governor Gumming was nervously aware of 
the stare of contempt indulged in by more than 
one of the officers in the tent at this outburst of 
the peppery but generous major ; but he was fain 
to wait till the soldier's tongue was tired, and 
then he hastily proceeded to outline the plan of 
action. > 

As the council proceeded, John Stevens per- 
ceived that, inadvertently perhaps, the Governor 
held out as a sort of peace-sop the picture of the 
comfortable homes down in the Valley below: 
the smiling farms, the young orchards and the 
fruitful gardens; these he hinted to the assem- 
bled officers would make life very endurable to 
all who might find shelter beneath the snowy 
peaks of the mountains towering above the lakes 
and valleys of that inhabited desert. 

John was forced to listen in silence to the seem- 
ing bait which was held out to the' weary soldiers 
who had wintered almost where Gen. Harney said 
they would in "hell" and "hell" it had been to 
those restless men in the frozen passes of the des- 
ert mountains. 

"How can all this be true, Governor?" asked 
ex-Governor and Senator-elect Powell, the other 
member of the Peace Commission, "when it is 
hardly ten years since these people came into 
these barren wastes ?" 



168 JOHN STEVENS' COURTSHIP 

"My dear sir, these 'Mormons' have done more 
marvelous things than ever did Moses. And they 
have even put the Pilgrim Fathers to the blush 
with their gigantic toil and its marvelous results. 
They call it the special providence of God; hey, 
Stevens?" to the young man whom he was anx- 
ious to placate and who was listening savagely to 
this somewhat indiscreet parley; "but the blos- 
soming desert below may be called, in all reason, 
the result of energy and grit. Yankee grit ! Why, 
sir, you will find that those people down there are 
mostly of pure New England descent. A very few 
English, and fewer Europeans. Yankees they are, 
most of them. And a very courageous lot of 
Yankees they all are. They are the peers of any 
in the matter of sobriety, courage and industry." 

John could but feel that Governor Cumming 
was trying to be fair in his explanation, and that 
helped him the better to bear the insolent airs of 
some of the blue-coated officers, who gazed at him 
loftily. His manhood could hadly be insulted by 
such personalities. 

As he waited without, after the conference had 
been broken up, and the Governor and Commis- 
sioners had withdrawn, he noted one of the 
officers, whom he had heard called Col. Saxey, 
trying to still the wild boasts of some of the 
younger men, who could not quite rid themselves 
of the prospective triumph over the "damned 
Mormons." 



I'M A MORMON DYED IN THE WOOL 169 

"This whole business," asserted Saxey, "is noth- 
ing but a scheme on the part of King Buchanan 
to get the flower of the Union troops out here 
just to further his own wily political ends. He is 
the king of blunderers, say I !" 

John moved hastily away ; he was aware of the 
few wise heads in that vast army of ten thousand, 
but he also knew that time and time again, the 
demons of mobocracy had broken over all civil and 
military control and had plundered and driven his 
poor and unhappy people. And now, behold, he 
was to escort the Peace Commissioners into the 
Valley! Well, he would do his full duty. 

"I have sent a message to General Albert Sid- 
ney Johnston," said the Governor, after they rode 
out of camp under the protection of the "Mor- 
mon" squad, "charging him to remain here quietly 
until you gentlemen of the Peace Commission 
have done your work, and until it is quite safe 
and proper to debouch our army into the valleys 
below." 

"And do you expect General Johnston to obey 
your orders?" asked Major McCulloch. "If he re- 
mains in camp one day after we leave it, it will be 
because he wishes to do so, not because you com- 
mand it." 

"What do you mean Major. Am I not the 
head of the government in this Territory? Who 
shall command, if not the representative of the 
United States government?" and the gentleman 



170 JOHN STEVENS' COURTSHIP 

proudly swept his glance over the generous form 
of his companion. 

"My dear fellow, that is a question that lies 
too deep for a soldier to answer. Which shall rule 
in this Territory? The civil or the military? Can 
you unriddle me the riddle, Governor Powell?" 

That gentleman merely raised his eyebrows, as 
fie sought to keep a steady seat on his fiercely 
trotting cayuse pony and said: 

"Quien sabe?" 

"There must be no mistake," said Governor 
Cumming, anxiously; "if there is any measure of 
peace to come into this unhappy Territory and 
you gentlemen have been commissioned for that 
purpose and no other I must be allowed full con- 
trol as the civil head of this part of our Nation. 
There has been no rebellion, gentlemen; I beg 
you to remember that ;" and John, who had heard 
all, loved the kindly, determined gentleman who 
maintained that fact in the face of all opponents. 
"You may patch up a peace as best you may. But 
it will never, can never, be done at the point of the 
sword." 

"Quien sabe?" again asked the political Pow- 
ell, who was open to conviction on either side. 

And so the cavalcade rode swiftly on its way. 
They reached the entrance to the canyon at dusk ; 
after a brief rest Capt. Stevens insisted that they 
should continue on their line of travel, because of 
the possible danger of attack from Indians or 



I'M A MORMON DYED IN THE WOOL 171 

other stragglers in the mountains. And so it was 
that the party traversed the whole of the canyon 
fortifications under cover of darkness. And what- 
ever John's motive in so doing might be, it was 
not communicated to the others. But when they 
passed peak after peak, all brilliantly illuminated 
by camp fires, around which men stood silent and 
grim, Governor Gumming felt some doubt as to 
whether this glowing tribute was a token of re- 
spect for themselves, or a skilful multiplication of 
resources on the part of the mountaineers. 



XVI 
THE PEACE COMMISSIONERS 



S the small and weary party of travelers 
went into camp that night a messenger 
rode quietly up, and gave a small packet 
into the hands of Stevens. John did not 
unfasten the packet at once ; he had much to do in 
making camp and preparing things for the night. 
But when the stillness of late evening brooded 
over them, John drew out from the wrapping a 
half dozen letters, among them being two of in- 
structions to himself from General Wells ; among 
the letters from friends and relatives to the Utah 
squad, there was a small missive, written in a 
delicate, familiar hand, addressed to Charlie Rose. 
John immediately went over to the far side of the 
camp fire where Charlie lay at ease, and delivered 
the small letter. He was quick to note the sudden 
excitement which quivered along every nerve of 
the young fellow, as his fingers grasped the ex- 
pected note from Diantha Winthrop. Both knew 
who had written the letter. Both were moun- 
taineers ; ready of action, but slow to confide. 

John took careful notice of all his own instruc- 
tions, read by the light of his heaped-up fire. But 
in and through it all his thoughts were centered 



THE PEACE COMMISSIONERS 173 

on that missive lying on the heart of Charlie Rose. 
The remembrance of that letter lay in his own 
breast for many days, like a coal of fire. 

As the party emerged, two mornings later, June 
7th, 1858, from the last of the canyon defiles, they 
were at once struck with the wild beauty before 
them. It was a barren valley, through which 
flowed a few green-fringed streams, a silvery line 
of shimmering water on its western horizon be- 
tokening the presence of the blue salt sea, and 
near the northern mountains the prosperous be- 
ginning of that inland empire, now dotted here 
and there, over the checker-board regularity of 
its wide-streeted design, with the green of planted 
fruit and shade trees. The geometrical fields 
around and beyond this incipient city amazed the 
party with their regularity. 

"They plant their whole civilization in accord- 
ance with the line and plummet of order. Irriga- 
tion makes the system and regularity a vital ne- 
cessity," explained the Governor. 

"How distinctly you can see in this wonderful 
atmosphere," exclaimed Governor Powell. "I 
should think that town but a few miles away, and 
that lake shimmering in the distance is, how far 
away? A dozen or so miles?" 

The Governor smiled as he explained distances 
and details with the growing enthusiasm which 
ever belonged to even temporary ownership in 
Utah scenery. 



174 JOHN STEVENS' COURTSHIP 

"This is the most wonderful place in the world. 
The eye is not weary, the brain is not taxed, nor 
the body aged, by life in this salubrious climate. 
And you can see objects many miles away. In- 
deed the clearness of the air makes distance a very 
deceptive matter." 

"Make it all a little more civilized," growled the 
weary Major. 

As the party rode down into the streets, the 
tomb-like silence greeted them uncannily, and the 
faces of the Commissioners were puzzled and 
anxious. 

"What does all this deserted look mean ?" asked 
Major McCulloch. 

"Sir," answered the Governor, "I must now in- 
form you of a condition in this Territory which I 
had hoped would be over and done with when we 
returned to this Valley. Brigham Young told me 
some weeks ago that he should vacate every town 
and hamlet in this Territory. More, he should 
set fire to every house, destroy every green thing, 
and leave behind him a desolate waste, such as he 
found when he came here." 

"Zoun'ds, man, how can the old rebel dare to do 
such a thing?" asked the Major. 

"Major McCulloch, Brigham Young may be a 
fanatic, but he is not nor never has been, I am 
persuaded, a rebel. He loves his country as dearly 
as ever you did. And, sir, I cannot hear him vili- 
fied, even by a Peace Commissioner." The tone 



THE PEACE COMMISSIONERS 175 

of gentle quiet in the last words robbed them of 
their ironical sting, and the irascible old soldier 
grunted as he shifted his position on his tired 
steed. 

"These people have been most unjustly treated, 
so they think, and if you are to be peacemakers, 
you must meet them on their own footing, and not 
on any stilted plane of your own setting up." 

The silent streets, the empty houses, the ab- 
sence of even a dog or other animal was very 
mournful, and not a man in the party but felt the 
pressure of that heavy grief. The rattle of their 
horses' feet echoed far up the empty street. Zion 
had fled! 

"What a pity there were not poet or artist 
here," said Governor Powell, as they rode with 
noisy echoes along the silent roads. Overhead the 
young cottonwood trees were throwing delicate 
shadows upon the trickling streams that coursed 
down by every sidewalk. In the well fenced city 
lots, surrounding the comfortable but lonely and 
deserted houses, had been planted generous kitch- 
en gardens, now withering and dun in the swel- 
tering sun. The forge of the blacksmith was si- 
lent and black through its widely opened door, 
and most of the windows and doors were barred 
and closed, while the flaunting weeds in all the 
streets and sidewalks bore eloquent evidence of 
the desertion of man. 

"This is most damned lonesome,Governor Cum- 



176 JOHN STEVENS' COURTSHIP 

ming. Not much like your gaudy pictures drawn 
out in camp." 

"I had hoped that Brigham Young would repent 
himself; for I promised to make peace and to 
keep it." 

"Pretty bold of you, sir, I must say, sir." And 
the old soldier sputtered with annoyance. 

"Major, I brought my wife in from Camp Scott, 
as you know, last month. And when we came 
into this deserted city, partially deserted even 
then, she could not withhold her tears. She wept 
like a child to see this terrible sight. She besought 
me as only a tender woman could, to do every- 
thing in my power to bring this unhappy and 
wronged people back into the homes that their toil 
and sacrifices had created in this desert wild. And, 
sir, it is because of those tears, and that tender 
pleading, that you are here today. I have neither 
taken sleep nor food, except by necessity, till 
President Buchanan has listened to my appeal and 
has sent you gentlemen out to undo this most 
awful blunder." 

"Sir," answered Governor Powell, with a note 
of reverence in his voice, "your judgment is no 
less to be commended than your sentiment." 

"Quite right, sir; quite right," and the bluff 
old Major blew heartily at his bugle of a nose. "I 
wish we may see all this unhappy business well 
settled. But, sir, I don't like this damned lone- 
liness!" 

And neither did any of them. 




XVII 
BROTHER DUNBAR SINGS ZION 

| HE old Council House was a scene of 
profound excitement the next morning 
after the events recorded in the last 
chapter. There were gathered in its 
square brick walls the leaders of a people who had 
been suspected, made an incipient war against, 
tried and found guilty, and who were now about 
to be forgiven, when according to their own ideas 
they were not guilty of one single count in the 
whole indictment. Up from the South where the 
people were bivouacked, had come two score of the 
leaders and elders. Within the larger council 
chamber there was not much talk that morning 
and few outward semblances of the suppressed 
excitement. These men were too accustomed to 
action to do much talking in the face of danger. 

Here and there were a few groups talking of 
the possible outcome of the day, while still oth- 
ers exchanged whispered items of news of the 
families in the South and the mountaineers in the 
eastern canyons. 

As Brigham Young entered the room, accom- 
panied by Heber C. Kimball, whose eloquent, 
snapping black eyes, shining bald head and king- 

12 



178 JOHN STEVENS' COURTSHIP 

ly form towered above many of those assem- 
bled near, they were greeted cordially by their as- 
sociates, and at once took their seats on the small 
raised platform at the western end of the room. 
Almost at the same time a whispered word went 
round that the Commissioners were at the door. 

Captain Stevens flung open the inner door of 
the council chamber and announced quietly : 

"President Young, I beg leave to announce the 
Peace Commission." 

As these two gentlemen entered, followed at a 
little distance by Governor Gumming, who had 
lingered to exchange a word with some one in the 
hall, Brigham Young arose and cordially extended 
a hand of welcome to his new visitors. 

John stepped back into the hall to exchange 
greetings with some of his friends and as he stood 
chatting for a moment he was tugged by the coat- 
sleeve and turned around to find Tom Allen's jolly 
eyes beaming into his face. 

With the sympathetic ear of a good listener, 
John was soon deluged with verbal pictures of 
conditions down in Prove and vicinity. He dis- 
covered for himself the bear-hut, and saw its 
present rejuvenation, filled with the families of 
Winthrop and Tyler, who used the two rooms as 
dining room and kitchen; the half-dozen wagon 
boxes, as of old days on the plains, served as bed- 
chambers for the two groups of families. He knew 
in a trice about the birth of the Mathews twins, 



BROTHER DUNBAR SINGS ZION 179 

the quarrel of Annie Moore with Stephen Grace ; 
he grasped almost before it was told, all the details 
of that strenuous and yet rather monotonous ex- 
istence down on the banks of the shallow Timpa- 
nogos or Provo river, as he caught at random the 
pictures flung at random by his old friend and as- 
sociate. 

"And, oh yes, don't go yet, John ; I must tell you 
the very latest. Diantha Winthrop is wearing 
Charlie Rose's ring. How's that for high?" 

The arrow struck where Torn vaguely hoped it 
would. If there was one thing above another 
that pleased jolly Tom Allen it was to stick teas- 
ing arrows into his friends. But he did not have 
the satisfaction of even guessing how near his 
shot had struck home, for he was instantly swung 
round and out of the way by Corporal Rose him- 
self, who thus addressed himself to John : 

"Captain Stevens, the President is just calling 
the council to order, and it is desired that you shall 
be with us in the council." 

John instantly accompanied Corporal Rose into 
the inner room, and Tom Allen was left to his own 
conjectures and the silence of the deserted hall. 

Within, the groups of stern-visaged men had 
settled themselves in orderly lines upon the rows 
of benches, and on the raised platform sat those 
tried and true friends, Brigham Young, Heber C. 
Kimball, George A. Smith, with handsome young 
Joseph F. Smith and General Wells; and here 



180 



John went quietly to find his own seat among the 
few Utah officers sitting near General Wells. In 
the center of the aisle sat rough old A. P. Rock- 
wood, the commissary-general, with utter indif- 
ference to his rawhide boots and faded blue over- 
alls, but with a perfect appreciation of his own 
great sagacity and importance. 

Already the council was in operation. Gover- 
nor Gumming introduced ex-Governor Powell to 
the assembly, and that gentleman proceeded in 
his customary smooth language to recite the facts 
connected with the presence of the Commissioners 
in Utah. He referred to the action of the Presi- 
dent of the United States in sending out the Com- 
mission and read in solemn tones the pardon sent 
out by that great executive. The pardon was 
couched in somewhat elusive terms, but it was 
plain that the "Mormons" were accused of over 
fifty crimes and misdemeanors, for all of which his 
excellency, the President, offered amnesty to all 
who would acknowledge the supremacy of the 
United States government, and in this acknowl- 
edgment permit the troops now quartered out- 
side the Territory to enter and take up quarters 
within said Territory. The paper concluded with 
a pledge of good faith to all peaceable inhabitants 
of the Territory, and an assurance that neither the 
Chief Executive of the Nation nor his representa- 
tives in the Territory would be found interfering 
with the religion or faith of the inhabitants of this 



BROTHER DUNBAR SINGS ZION 181 

region. Governor Powell emphasized the pledge 
on behalf of himself and associate Commissioner. 
He explained somewhat loftily, yet in good grace, 
that they did not propose to inquire into the past, 
but to let all that had gone before alone, and to 
talk and act now only for the future. 

Brigham Young called upon one of his near as- 
sociates to speak: John Taylor, whose dark eyes 
looked out from under his splendid brows, and 
whose dignified, courtly manner won the admira- 
tion of even that bluff old Major McCulloch. This 
valiant friend of their late martyred Prophet, Jos- 
eph Smith, gave utterance to some fiery discourse, 
tempered with the desire to bring about peace, if 
it could be a peace with honor. He was followed 
by Brigham Young's nearest friend, George A. 
Smith, who told the Commissioners in ten minutes 
more of the "Mormon" people's past history than 
even Governor Cumming had ever known ; he told 
them that the "Mormons" had come out here to 
these barren vales "willingly because they had 
to ;" and he added that they were ready "if needs 
must or the devil drives" to seek other homes in 
the same manner. Some few but fiery words 
were spoken by Adjutant-General James Fergu- 
son, and John's whole soul went out to his su- 
perior officer, who voiced the sentiments of the 
whole Utah militia. And then Brigham Young 
arose slowly, as though he were too full of 
thought and the responsibility of his position to 



182 JOHN STEVENS' COURTSHIP 

act except with full deliberation. His voice was 
stern and cool, but vibrant, and it cut into every 
corner of that council chamber with thrilling if 
somewhat sharp enunciation. If his action were 
deliberate, there was no hesitancy in his speech 
He said: 

"I have listened very attentively to the Commis- 
sioners, and will say, as far as I am concerned, I 
thank President Buchanan for forgiving me, but I 
can't really tell what I have done. I know one 
thing, and that is, that the people called 'Mor- 
mons' are a lawful and loyal people, and have 
ever been. It is true Lot Smith burned some wag- 
ons last winter containing government supplies 
for the army. This was an overt act, and if it is 
for this that we are pardoned, I accept the par- 
don. The burning of a few wagons is but a small 
item, yet for this, combined with false reports, 
the whole 'Mormon' people are to be destroyed. 
What has the United States government permit- 
ted mobs to do to us in the past? Gentlemen, you 
can answer that question for yourselves. I can 
also, and so can thousands of my brethren. We 
have been plundered and whipped ; and our houses 
burned, our fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, and 
children butchered and murdered by the scores. 
We have been driven from our homes time and 
time again; but have the troops ever been sent 
to stay or punish the mobs for their crimes? No! 
Have we ever received a dollar for the property 



BROTHER DUNBAR SINGS ZION 183 

that we have been compelled to leave behind? 
Not a dollar ! Let the government of our country 
treat us as we deserve. That is all we ask of them. 
We have always been loyal and expect to continue 
so. But hands off ! Do not send your armed mobs 
into our midst. If you do, we will fight you, as 
the Lord lives. Do not threaten us with what the 
United States can do and will do, for we ask no 
odds of them or their troops. We have the God of 
Israel the God of battles on our side; and let 
me tell you, gentlemen, we fear not your threats. 
These, my brethren, put their trust in the God of 
Israel, and we have no fears. We have proved 
Him, and He is our friend. Boys, how do you 
feel? Are you afraid?" 

Instantly there was a crash of voiced response 
to the man Brigham's fearless words. They 
might be termed fanatics these men but they 
could never be called cowards. 

John held his breath as Brigham Young con- 
tinued : 

"Now let me say to you Peace Commissioners : 
we are willing those troops should come into our 
Territory, but not to stay in our cities. They may 
pass through this city, if needs be, but must not 
quarter nearer than forty miles to any city. If 
you bring your troops here to disturb this people, 
you have a bigger job on your hands than you or 
President Buchanan has any idea of. Before the 
troops reach here, this city will be in ashes, every 



184 JOHN STEVENS' COURTSHIP 

tree and shrub will be cut to the ground, and every 
blade of grass that will burn shall be burned. Our 
wives and children will go to the canyons and 
take shelter in the mountains; while their hus- 
bands and sons will fight you to their last breath. 
And as God lives, we will hunt you by night and 
by day till our army or yours is wasted away. 
No mob, armed or otherwise, can live in the 
homes we have builded in these mountains. That's 
the program, gentlemen, whether you like it or 
not. If you want war, you can have it ; but if you 
wish peace, peace it is ; we shall be glad of it." 

Once more Governor Powell arose and in hon- 
eyed tones he soothed the tumult of emotions now 
swelling upon the high tide of that stern-visaged 
assembly of men. He dwelt with moving elo- 
quence upon the great clemency of the President 
of the United States and the magnanimity of that 
authority in setting aside all past offenses, and 
he told of the bright future which awaited a 
new Territory begun under such favorable aus- 
pices of frugality and industry. He praised all 
for their temperance and toil. He grew eloquent 
as he moved along the current of his own fervid 
imagination, and his pictures of the coming era 
of peace and prosperity caught, not only his own 
hearty sympathy, but mollified and quieted the 
turbulent elements there. He assured them that 
the army of the United States would not enter the 
Valley, only as they were given permission by 



BROTHER DUNBAR SINGS ZION 185 

^- 

that gallant and humane Territorial executive, 
Governor Gumming. And he was in full cry upon 
a swelling compliment to that genial peace-pro- 
moter when the door of the hall was flung open, 
and a barbaric figure, hard-ridden through miles 
of flying dust and unwashed haste, flung himself 
into the room. The old slouch hat upon the head 
of that dramatic figure was drawn down upon a 
mass of braided hair, wound round and round 
the bullet-shaped head. The hooked nose, the 
sleepy-lidded eyes, half closed upon the eagle 
glance of that "Mormon" scout, Indian fighter, 
sheriff, and free-lance, Porter Rockwell, sent a 
shivering thrill of apprehension into the breast of 
every mountaineer in that chamber. Porter Rock- 
well bore no trifling message ! 

A moment of converse followed in hasty, low- 
ered tones with Brigham Young behind the back 
of that eloquent Kentucky politician who was just 
then extolling the orderliness and clemency of the 
troops, now quietly resting in Fort Scott; and 
then, up rose, without haste, but in sudden stern- 
ness, Brigham Young, as he said in piercing ac- 
cents : 

"Governor Powell, Major McCulloch, are you 
aware, sirs, that those troops are on the move to 
this city?" 

"It cannot be," answered the orator, Powell, as 
he swung instantly around to face his questioner. 
"For we were promised by General Johnston that 



186 JOHN STEVENS' COURTSHIP 

they should not move until after this meeting." 

"I have received a dispatch, sir, that they are 
on the move to this city, and my messenger would 
not deceive me." 

There was a hush as of the tomb on every lip 
and heart in that assembly. The thunderbolt had 
fallen. 

In that same severe but perfectly self-possessed 
voice, Brigham Young asked : 

"Is Brother Dunbar present?" 

"Yes, sir," answered that flute-voiced musician. 

"Brother Dunbar, sing 'Zion.' " 

And in the electrical silence which ensued, rang 
out the clarion tones of the "Mormon" battle- 
hymn, if such it could be called, since it embodies 
a spiritual triumph rather than a temporal subju- 
gation. Brother Dunbar sang: 

O! ye mountains high, where the clear blue sky 

Arches over the vales of the free, 
Where the clear breezes blow 
And the pure streamlets flow, 

How I've longed to thy bosom to flee. 
O Zion ! dear Zion ! home of the free : 
My own mountain home, now to thee I have come, 

All my fond hopes are centered in thee. 

Though the great and the wise all thy beauties de- 
spise, 
To the humble and pure thou art dear; 



BROTHER DUNBAR SINGS ZION 187 

Though the haughty may smile, 
And the wicked revile, 

Yet we love thy glad tidings to hear. 
O Zion ! dear Zion ! home of the free : 
Though thou wert forced to fly to thy chambers 
on high, 

Yet we'll share joy and sorrow with thee. 

In thy mountain retreat, God will strengthen thy 
feet; 

On the necks of thy foes thou shalt tread ; 
And their silver and gold, 
As the Prophets have told, 

Shall be brought to adorn thy fair head. 
O Zion ! dear Zion ! home of the free ; 
Soon thy towers will shine with a splendor divine, 

And eternal thy glory shall be. 

Here our voices we'll raise, and we'll sing to thy 
praise, 

Sacred home of the Prophets of God; 
Thy deliverance is nigh, 
Thy oppressors shall die, 

And the Gentiles shall bow 'neath thy rod. 
O Zion ! dear Zion ! home of the free : 
In thy temples we'll bend, all thy rights we'll de- 
fend, 

And our home shall be ever with thee. 

It was impossible to calm the tumult any more 



188 JOHN STEVENS' COURTSHIP 

for that day. Peace or war, the situation was very 
much in the hands of Brigham Young for the 
time. 

As the three Eastern officials made their way 
slowly out of the door, with mingled chagrin and 
anger, Governor Cumming asked his companions : 

"What would you do with such a people?" 

"Damn them, I would fight them, if I had my 
way," answered Major McCulloch, unconvinced 
that the rumor was in any degree true. 

"Fight them, would you?" answered the Govern- 
or sadly. "You might fight them, but you would 
not whip them. They would never know when 
they were whipped. Did you notice the fire and 
flash in those men's eyes today? No, sir; they 
would never know when they were whipped." 

"I fear," said Governor Powell, reflectively, as 
they retraced their way sadly through the silent 
echoing streets to one of the few inhabited houses 
in the city, the hotel on Main Street, "I fear that 
the messenger was right. I had occasion to doubt 
the rashness of General Johnston's temper before 
we left the camp. Yet, I hope, I hope it is not 
true. I am loath to see the blood of good me a 
shed for naught. But what a strangely dramatic 
people! They sing their defiance instead of an- 
nouncing it." 

There was another council held the next day; 
messengers were sent from both the Peace Com- 
mission and Governor Cumming to Camp Scott, 



BROTHER DUNBAR SINGS ZION 189 

and at length the whole matter was patched up, 
and the Commissioners were permitted to have 
their way. But meanwhile Brigham Young, 
with all his associates, had fled once more to the 
South and the deserted streets of the city were 
pressed only by the feet of the few and scattered 
non-"Mormons" who had chosen to remain 
through all these troubles within the borders of 
the unhappy Territory. 



XVIII 
THE ARMY ENTERS THE VALLEY 

SHE armies of the United States were to 
enter the valleys of Utah. President Bu- 
chanan had said they must, the Peace 
Commission and Governor Cumming 
said they ought, and Brigham Young said they 
might. 

On the twenty-sixth day of June, 1858, at day- 
break, the advance column of the army began its 
march through the streets of Great Salt Lake City. 
The soldiers, whose eyes had for so many 
months rested on desolation, looked down from 
the mouth of Emigration Canyon with a pleased 
surprise on all the goodly evidences of civilization 
about them. Houses, with blinking windows and 
comfortable porches; wide streets, flanked on 
either side with running streams of clear, cold, 
canyon water, over whose rippling surface 
drooped in graceful lines the native cottonwood, 
which had been dug from the neighboring canyon 
streams and planted along every water-course to 
furnish shade and rest for man and beast; com- 
modious homes, barns, fences and outbuildings 
gave this unique city a look of mingled rural sim- 
plicity and urban attractiveness. The huge blocks 
were laid out in large lots, whereon sat with 



THE ARMY ENTERS THE VALLEY 191 

sturdy independence each snug house, its sur- 
rounding fruit and vegetable plantations fenced 
in with poles or cobbles, thus forming a gener- 
ous combination of orchard and kitchen garden. 

The soldiers were not more curious nor more 
deeply impressed with the queer appearance of 
this well-built yet deserted city than were the offi- 
cers, who rode here and there inspecting their va- 
rious divisions. Colonel St. George Cooke, who 
had been in service with the "Mormon" Battalion 
in Lower California, rode through the city with 
bared head and gloomy eye, as a silent evidence 
of a respect and sympathy which did his head no 
less honor than his heart. 

One handsome, dark-eyed young officer looked 
about and rode from side to side of the silent 
streets, at last opening a gaping gate wide and 
riding within the yard, as if unable to restrain his 
curiosity. As he rode around to the back of the 
house, a door opened, and a man stood silently 
watching his approach. 

"Well, my good fellow," patronizingly said the 
young blue-coated horseman, "can you tell me the 
meaning of the extraordinary appearance of this 
extraordinary city?" 

"What's extraordinary?" asked the bearded 
man, leaning against the door post. 

"Do you mean, what's the meaning of the word? 
or what's extraordinary about the town? You 
must know, my man, that it seems very strange 



192 JOHN STEVENS' COURTSHIP 

to use the simple terms suited to your capacity 
to find all these good houses, barns and gardens 
empty and to find no living soul moving about. 
Not a woman or girl, not even a child or dog, to 
give active life to your rural scene. Where are 
your women and children? I have seen one or 
two men, but not a woman." 

"Don't see a woman, hey?" and John Stevens 
looked about him with indifferent insolence; 
"well, I don't either." 

"Can't you answer a civil question, my surly 
fellow? Where are your families?" 

"They are out of your reach, scoundrel, as well 
as out of your sight ! What are you going to do 
about it?" 

"Oh, I'm not afraid ; the women will find us out. 
They have a particular fondness for brass buttons, 
you know. I have no doubt that we shall find all 
the women we want, provided that you big strap- 
ping fellows have a few dozen over and above 
your own needs." 

The sneering yet airy tones of this speech made 
John Stevens clinch his hands in silent yet mighty 
anger. But, under orders to maintain peace, he 
merely turned around and sauntered towards the 
barn, leaving his questioner to go or stay as he 
pleased. 

"What in the name of mischief does this deadly 
quiet and desertion mean?" asked the same offi- 
cer, as he rode out into the street and found his 



THE ARMY ENTERS THE VALLEY 193 

companions still streaming down the silent road. 

"I have just heard the Colonel say that these 
people have followed their leader, old Brigham, 
down to the southern part of the Territory, and 
that they intend to emigrate to Mexico, or who 
knows to Brazil, maybe. They were determined 
to give us no excuse to kill them or to even ad- 
minister the punishment they so richly deserve." 

"Run away, have they? Well, that's cool. Here 
we've come out over the most forsaken country 
in all the United States ; have passed the beastliest 
winter ever seen by soldiers, since Moscow, and 
yet when we are here ready to get in our work, 
behold the sacrifice has picked up his heels and 
fled ingloriously." 

"Not even having the grace to leave us a scrub- 
by ram caught in the thicket. Too bad, old fel- 
low. What about all your plans for a modern 
seraglio? No doubt the women are kept under the 
closest surveillance, wherever they are." 

"Oh, well, as I told a raw-boned fellow in the 
dooryard back there, if the women get a sight of 
us, they will follow us without our even going to 
the trouble to whistle for them. I have known 
the dear creatures all my life, don't you know?" 

All day, the tramp, tramp of armed men, the 
rattle of heavy field-pieces, the jingle of swords 
and guns, the rumble of baggage wagons, with 
occasional bursts of music from the regimental 
bands these were the only sounds heard through 

is 



194 JOHN STEVENS' COURTSHIP 

the tomb-like and deserted streets. So profound 
was the silence that, at intervals, between the 
passage of the columns, the slight monotonous 
gurgle of City Creek struck on every ear. The 
only living creatures to be seen was the group 
of men who stood around Governor Cumming on 
the Council House corner and waved a cheerful 
yet subdued salute to the troops, as they filed 
lustily by. Inside of many of these houses, no 
sign of inhabiting life remained; the furnituie 
was piled in great heaps, with under portions of 
shavings and kindlings and straw, ready to be 
burned at a moment's notice; while in a few 
houses there were eager watching, silent men in- 
side, who held flint and steel ready to apply to 
these crisp piles of shavings if ever the marching 
feet outside had stopped and attempted any dese- 
cration. Outside, everywhere, great piles of straw 
lay upon grass, garden and outbuildings ; all ready 
for the instant torch of destruction. 

All day, all day, the marching feet and wonder- 
ing eyes passed through the desolate streets. 
There were no stops, no breaking of ranks, save 
here and there, where some daring soldier's hand 
would seize and pluck a fragrant bloom from a 
flaunting rose-bush, or a thirsty, dust-stained sol- 
dier would stoop, and making a cup of his hands, 
drink of the running, sparkling streams along the 
road. The divisions clanged heavily along with 
no rest to the steady, onward, measured march. 



THE ARMY ENTERS THE VALLEY 195 

The fragrant grass-grown streets were not more 
eloquent of a whole people's sorrowing desertion 
than were the sun-rotting barrels and buckets 
near the unused wells of water. 

Forty miles to the south there awaited in the 
silent desert the spot where these journeying 
troops would halt in their march, and striking per- 
manent camp, sojourn for a season. But the 
army would camp for the night on the dry plain 
across the river Jordan to the west of the City. 

As the last company of soldiers filed past the 
western streets in the late summer evening, John 
Stevens warily closed his own and other doors in 
the neighborhood, and together with a party of 
scouts, he rode stealthily down to the army camp, 
made temporarily a couple of miles beyond the 
river Jordan. He watched in silent suspicion the 
whole night through, and when morning light 
found men and camp-followers astir, he, too, was 
on the alert, and at a safe distance he followed 
the long moving column for two days as it 
stretched from the banks of the river Jordan down 
through the narrow pass beside the treacherous 
stream's banks. On and on the marching lines 
flowed heavily down the southern road, past the 
northern edge of the lovely sheet of blue, clear 
water called Utah Lake; around and around this 
lake the road ran, past the northern shores of its 
clear blue glory ; past the chain of canyon defiles 
which opened at last into the Cedar Valley, and 



196 



down into the heart of that desert vale, where 
only the cricket and sage-brush gave evidence of 
animal or vegetable life. Here on the valley's one 
water course the army halted. They made their 
permanent quarters there and called their first 
Utah camp "Floyd," in honor of the Secretary of 
War. 

Here, then, the army of the United States was 
quartered, with the approval of the great and 
distant heads of the Government, and the disap- 
proval of the surrounding bands of half-hungry 
and half -frightened Ute and Pauvan Indians; 
with the grudged consent of General Albert Sid- 
ney Johnston, and the silent acquiescence, that 
armed truce, of the intrepid "Mormon" leader, 
Brigham Young. 

As the last tent was set, and the whole machin- 
ery of camp life once more set in motion, Captain 
John Stevens found himself at liberty to ride, with 
his companions, into the southern rendezvous of 
his people, at Provo, and to make due report to 
his commanding officers. As he turned his face 
eastward and rode at the head of his company his 
relieved thoughts flew from those larger affairs of 
state to his personal affairs; and he wondered 
silently whether it were whim or affection which 
kept Charlie Rose's ring on the finger of Diantha 
Winthrop. If it were whim well, eternity was 
very long; if it were affection 

"Corporal Rose," he said, somewhat sharply, 



THE ARMY ENTERS THE VALLEY 197 

"we shall take no rest for dinner, but press on at 
once for Prove." 

And Corporal Rose, albeit full of wonder as to 
the sharpness and the haste, was very glad to 
ride straight on to Provo. 




XIX 

TOM ALLEN DREAMS A DREAM 

OST of the Saints had halted in Provo; 
here on the banks of that brawling river, 
called by the Indians, in soft labials, 
Timpanogos, had grown up a large tem- 
porary metropolis ; and that half-tented, half-dom- 
iciled host, whose human hearts beat with hopes 
and fears, and whose tongues and thoughts were 
still very human, in spite of the past, the discom- 
fort of the present, and the grave uncertainty of 
the future, carried on life's daily details with fitful 
regularity. Thirty thousand people were en- 
camped in the beautiful Utah Valley, around the 
borders of Utah Lake. 

The swimmer, across the Grecian gulf was far 
more interested in tfie exact measure of his stroke 
than in the record he would make in future his- 
tory. So, too, on the banks of the Timpanogos, 
men were more interested in the withering crops 
in the Salt Lake Valley than they were in the se- 
cession of the South or in the possible outcome of 
their own difficulties. So there sat in Provo, in a 
small, dingy back room, two girls, just now vitally 
interested in making a huge pot of cornmeal mush 
for the supper of two or three associated families. 
The unwieldy vessel swung from the crane over 



TOM ALLEN DREAMS A DREAM 199 

the huge fire-place. The strenuous excitement of 
the Move had gradually subsided, leaving the 
young people at least once more gaily afloat on 
the seas of their own impulses, their own fears 
and their own loves. 

"Don't stop stirring that cornmeal, Dian, until 
it is thoroughly cooked," said Rachel Winthrop, 
as she entered the hut. "You know that your 
brother hates raw mush; and it is a science to 
know how to cook it. When it has boiled a good 
half hour, I will come in and stir in the flour to 
thicken it." 

The girl bent over the fire-place and stirred the 
bubbling mass in the pot, while her pink cheeks 
turned to rosy red. 

"Oh, Ellie, what a nuisance a fireplace is, any- 
how. I didn't half appreciate our good step-stove 
until I came here and had to work on this." 

"Never mind, Dian, I shall have these batter 
cakes in the skillet baked in a minute, and then 
I will stir it for a while." 

"Standing over a fire like this makes my cheeks 
just like ugly old purple hollyhocks. It's all I 
can do to get along with my homely red cheeks 
under ordinary circumstances, but when I get 
over a fire it simply makes me hideous." 

'"Oh, no such thing ; why do you care, anyway, 
Dian, there's no one here to see you?" 

"Don't need to be! I am conscious of it and 
that is enough." 



200 JOHN STEVENS' COURTSHIP 

"Say, Dian, do you miss John Stevens? I am 
just homesick to see him. We have scarcely laid 
eyes on him this winter or spring." 

"No, I can't say that I care. John is good 
enough, but he is so quiet; I believe he is too 
tame to really amount to much." 

"Tame! John Stevens tame! Well, Dian, I 
gave you credit for more discernment than that. 
Why, I don't believe that there is a braver or 
more passionate man living than John Stevens." 

"Oh, I don't say but what he has temper 
enough ; the flash in his eyes tells that ; but I mean 
he is tame around women. He pokes around as 
if he didn't care whether you were alive or dead. 
I like some one with eyes and ears. Some one 
who has a grain of gallantry in him. Not such 
a stick as John Stevens." 

"Why don't you set your cap for Tom Allen? 
He has eyes and ears for nothing else than 
women." 

"And his dinner! Tom Allen! Oh, my! He 
has no more romance in him than a dinner plate. 
Just think of it !" 

And the girl laughed and laughed that silvery, 
teasing, rippling laughter, till her mush sputtered 
and boiled over with indignation, into the glowing 
coals of the fire-place. 

"Well, you may laugh, but I really think that 
Tom Allen is as nice as he can be. He may be 
funny and droll, but he has a great big heart in 



TOM ALLEN DREAMS A DREAM 201 

him, and if he wasn't engaged to Luna Hyde I 
would set my cap for him myself." 

"Oh, Ellie, Ellie; you could flirt with anybody, 
and could, I verily believe, love anybody that gave 
you good reason not to, but my heart is of less im- 
pressionable material. It isn't so gentle and lov- 
able as your dear little one." 

Evidently Ellie wanted to turn the talk away 
from herself, so she offered to stir the mush, while 
Diantha watched the cakes. The conversation 
drifted to their immediate surroundings. 

Several families had decided to put their for- 
tunes together during the Move period, and the 
Winthrops, Tylers, and a family of Prescotts, who 
had several little children, and Tom Allen and 
his mother were all living crowded together in one 
or two little log houses on the Provo River's 
banks. Ellen's mind was dwelling just now on 
jolly Tom Allen, who spent no time at work or 
play which was not well interspersed with fun; 
fun which was innocent in itself, but which some- 
times led to injured feelings. 

"C6me, girls," said Rachel Winthrop, entering 
the kitchen, "I know you must be ready and the 
folks are gathering in for supper. Here, Dian, 
stir in this flour slowly and carefully, and I will 
be ready to. take it up in just one minute." 

The united families were soon gathered at one 
long table, each person impatient for his frugal 
meal, and each filled with the primal thoughts and 



202 JOHN STEVEN'S COURTSHIP 

impulses common to all humanity. Had any one 
of them been conscious of the real pathos of their 
situation, the scene might have melted such an 
one to tears. Driven from comfortable, hard- 
earned homes, through fear of armed violence, 
these four or five families like thousands of their 
friends unable even to get a home to shelter 
them from the winds and storms of the late spring 
weather, were all huddled together in these three 
small log rooms. They were compelled to make 
beds on the floors for the children and to use their 
wagon-boxes for their own sleeping compart- 
ments; and the utmost precaution was necessary 
to maintain order and decency in their crowded 
condition. The good people of Provo were taxed 
to the extreme to give shelter and comfort to the 
fleeing thousands who had suddenly called upon 
their hospitality. Tents, boweries, shanties, and 
rude structures of all kinds were pressed into serv- 
ice. And the people who could secure shelter of 
any sort were deemed fortunate. The work 
pressed hardest upon the women. Compelled to 
carry on the common vocations of life under such 
circumstances, the weekly washings, ironings, 
cleanings, and cookings taxed even the most pa- 
tient and strong to the uttermost. Our friends 
were lucky in having Aunt Clara Tyler included in 
their number, for she went about in her quiet way, 
healing wounds made by thoughtless tongues, 
and holding back the quick anger which pressed 



TOM ALLEN DREAMS A DREAM 203 

so hard upon irritated nerves and worn-out bodies. 
There was a saying, when Aunt Clara invited 
someone to take a walk along the river bank with 
her, "There goes Aunt Clara not to cleanse the 
cups, but to mend some broken heart." 

Aunt Clara and her friends were not the only 
ones who took walks by the river banks. It came 
to be a common thing for Tom Allen and Ellen 
Tyler to stroll up and down its winding paths, 
talking sometimes seriously and sometimes in that 
quizzical way so common to Tom. Sweet little 
hungry heart! Ellen was a loving soul, whose 
worst fault was a selfish weakness, a trait often 
admired in a sheltered woman, but dangerous in 
one thrown upon her own strength. She must, 
however, learn her lessons, as we must learn ours. 

One day in the late spring, Ellen came home 
from her walk unusually pensive and thoughtful. 
She waited till after the evening prayers, and then 
asked Diantha to go with her down by the big 
cottonwood tree, for she had something to tell her. 
Sitting down on a grassy knoll, under the twink- 
ling young stars, Ellen poured out her heart's con- 
fidence. 

"You know how much Tom thinks of his re- 
ligion, Dian, in spite of his odd ways. He is as 
good a Saint as the best, if he does make light of 
some things. I know his heart, for he has shown 
it to me, and I know he is one of our best men." 

Dian looked as if she would like to introduce 



204 JOHN STEVENS' COURTSHIP 

some of her own reflections upon the sincerity of 
Tom's religious professions, but from the serious 
tone of her friend's voice, she felt constrained to 
be as charitable as possible. So she contented her- 
self with saying : 

"Oh, yes, Tom is good enough. I don't believe 
he would do anything really dishonorable or bad 
for the world." 

"Oh, Dian, he is really and truly a dear, good 
soul. I want you to know him better. For if you 
do, you will surely love him better." 

Again Diantha looked her doubt upon this 
point; but the dim light of the young moon did 
not betray her opinion, plainly as it was expressed 
upon her mobile face. 

"Dian, I am going to tell you something and ask 
you for your advice. You know I have great con- 
fidence in your judgment." 

"Better ask Aunt Clara," said Diantha, afraid to 
trust her own opinion, where Tom Allen was con- 
cerned. 

"No, I want to talk to you. Maybe some day I 
will tell Aunt Clara, too ; but, just now, I feel like 
telling you." 

The girl sat with her hand resting on her cheek, 
gazing into the clear starry sky above them 
After a pause she said slowly : 

"Dian, do you believe in dreams and visions?" 
"Why, yes, of course I do; if they are of the 



TOM ALLEN DREAMS A DREAM 205 

right kind, and not brought on by eating too 
much." 

"Well, I believe that we get many revelations 
through our dreams, if we only knew how to inter- 
pret them." Another pause; then the girl said 
softly: "Dian, Tom Allen has had a dream or 
vision about me." 

The idea of Tom Allen having anything so seri- 
ous as a vision almost upset Diantha, but she con- 
trolled herself and asked: 

"What was the vision?" Diantha was rather 
curious now to know if she had been really mis- 
taken in her estimate of Tom's character. 

"Tom dreamed, or was carried away in a vision, 
and thought he lay upon his bed, very sick and 
nigh to death. As he lay there, pondering upon 
the past and future, he said he saw his door opeii 
softly, and, surrounded by a white light, I entered 
the room, with a banner in my hand, on which 
was inscribed: 'Marriage or death.' Then the 
dream ended." 

Diantha looked at the serious face of her friend 
for one moment, and tried to get up and get away, 
but it was no use. Her keen sense of the ridicu- 
lous rendered her so weak with inward laughter, 
that, at last, she sank back upon the earth, and 
broke forth into peal after peal of ringing, hearty, 
uproarious laughter. She fairly screamed at the 
last, the absurdity of it all so overcame her that 
she could not control her mirth. 



206 JOHN STEVENS' COURTSHIP 

"What is the matter with you girls?" asked Ra- 
chel Winthrop, coming out of the house to see 
the cause of this violent laughter. 

"Nothing, only one of Tom Allen's jokes," an- 
swered Diantha, for Ellen was too offended to say 
anything at all. 

"Why, Dian, don't you think he dreamed that?" 
Ellen asked at last, in a hurt, low voice. 

"If he did, he dreamed it with his eyes wide 
open, depend on that. Oh, Ellie, Ellie; anyone 
who pretends to be good and who is good to you, 
can pull the wool over your eyes, you dear little 
confiding thing." 

But Ellen felt as if some one through this act, 
small as it seemed, had torn from her eyes a veil 
of confidence in things good and true that no one 
could ever replace. If things could only be differ- 
ent in this life ! If she had only told Aunt Clara, 
she would have so measured her judgment and 
comment that this event would have strength- 
ened Ellen's faith, while pointing out the ab- 
surdity in a sweet, motherly way! But to have 
Tom tell her such a thing; thus treating a sacred 
sacrament as a matter of light ridicule this was 
most galling; and that she could believe it, too! 
It cut Ellen to the soul, to have her friend laugh 
so, as much at her own childish simplicity as at 
Tom's foolery. Oh, it was cruel ! 

But Diantha could not help laughing. The 
ridiculous picture, the banner; the inscription; it 



TOM ALLEN DREAMS A DREAM 207 

was too funny! Ah, foolish youth, so credulous, 
so incredulous, so tender, and yet so cruel! And 
only poets and prophets may tell us which is 
comedy and which is tragedy. For laughter may 
presage death, while death itself is the door to love 
and life eternal! 




XX 

A SOLDIER IN DISTRESS 

HERE was a coolness between the two 
girls after the dream episode, which 
lasted for a number of weeks. Diantha 
could not see why her friend should take 
offense at such a trifle, as she termed it. 

As for Ellen, she felt in an indefinable way, that 
somebody had, with the tiny point of a pin, shat- 
tered what to her had been the most beautiful 
bubble she had ever possessed. She was too little 
inclined to look back of events for causes, to at- 
tempt any rational explanation of the whole mat- 
ter; she only knew that it had been delightfully 
romantic to fancy herself the subject of a vision 
and to feel she was the chosen of heaven for ex- 
alted positions; and when her one foolish trust 
had been shaken and her dream rudely dispelled, 
she felt as if there was not truth or stability in 
anyone or anything. The blow was crueller than 
her friend had any idea of ; what the results would 
be only time and the offended girl's actions could 
tell. 

Ellen now took her walks by the river alone. 
She shunned Tom Allen as coldly as she did 
Diantha Winthrop. She would wander off, and 



A SOLDIER IN DISTRESS 209 

with a pensiveness peculiar in one so light-heart- 
ed, avoided everyone, whether friend or stranger. 
She would go to the old bathing place and after 
lying on the grass for hours in moody silence, slip 
on her old home-spun bathing dress, and plunging 
into the cool waters of the river, she would lave 
her hot and tired limbs in the cooling waters, after 
which she would feel better and able to go back 
once more to an existence which had become mon- 
otonous and dreary. Love and admiration are 
as necessary to women of Ellen's affectionate 
nature as are sunlight and warmth to growing 
plants. 

One late spring afternoon she was, as usual, 
sporting and dashing around in the clear, swift 
stream, when suddenly raising her eyes, she saw 
on the opposite bank of the river a young man on 
a fine, restless, white charger; he was dressed in 
the becoming blue of a soldier; on his coat glit- 
tered and dazzled rows of brass buttons, and on 
his shoulders gleamed the insignia of army rank. 
He was looking at her very earnestly, and yet 
without seeming rudeness. Ellen sank at once 
into the water, so that nothing was visible but 
her head, and, turning away her face, hurriedly 
made for the shore, creeping along under the 
water as it grew shallower. The horseman, di- 
vining her fright, or actuated by some other mo- 
tive, turned his horse's head, and galloped away 



14 



210 JOHN STEVENS' COURTSHIP 

in the direction of the ford, a quarter of a mile 
above where she had been bathing. 

Oh, if she could only reach the shelter of her 
own home before this stranger could find her 
retreat ! She flew to her leafy dressing-room, and 
with flying fingers adjusted her clothing, flinging 
her bathing-dress on the bushes and with heavy 
heart-beats in her throat she sped along the path 
to her home. She found that Aunt Clara had gone 
to a distant house where a child had died. Aunt 
Clara was away from home very much in those 
long summer days. She was busy with the sick 
bodies of her people; alas that she knew naught 
of the sick soul of one of the creatures that she 
loved better than she did her own life ! 

How Ellen longed to spring into her friend 
Diantha's arms, and to tell her all that had hap- 
pened ! But Dian was not at home, and when El- 
len learned that she had gone out horseback rid- 
ing with Tom Allen she wondered with a queer 
little hurt in her heart if a small jealousy had 
prompted part of Diantha's cruel mirth at her 
own expense. 

Three days passed before Ellen ventured to 
take her customary walk by the river side. Then, 
indeed, her heart fluttered and sank, as she ap- 
proached her leafy bower. But she saw no one 
and heard no sound to disturb her peace- She al- 
most wondered, as she visited the spot day after 
day, if she had not possibly dreamed she saw the 



A SOLDIER IN DISTRESS 211 

soldier on the opposite bank. She was getting 
silly on the subject of dreams, she told herself, 
scornfully. 

One lovely afternoon, as the canyon breezes 
were blowing down from the many clefts in the 
eastern mountain walls, with the bees humming 
about her the song of the desert as they seized 
the sweets of every flower in her path, and the 
distant sound of the foaming river just insist- 
ent enough to mingle with the rustle of the cot- 
tonwood trees over her head, Ellen strolled along 
the accustomed path, and with nimble fingers 
wove for her uncovered brown braids a wreath of 
wild grasses and the pale purple daisies which 
skirted every path in generous profusion. 

She thought resentfully of the many flowers 
which Aunt Clara said grew in such generous 
loveliness in her own native Massachusetts hills; 
there was nothing but hardship and desolation in 
Utah, with common daisies and cheap grasses for 
flowers. But on she wandered, sometimes hum- 
ming softly and sometimes bitterly reflecting on 
her many trials, as she recalled the daily annoy- 
ances of her life. Suddenly she saw, a little ahead 
of her and out in the thick brush, a blue-coated 
man, either dead or asleep. 

Her first impulse was to fly as with the wind, 
for her own safe home. But there was a sort of 
unnatural look about the figure; a distortion 
which could not mean sleep. She paused, her heart 



212 JOHN STEVENS' COURTSHIP 

making such confusion that she had to hold her 
hand over it for a moment to still its wild beating. 
Then, with a vague, dark fear, her heart now 
choking her delicate throat, she cautiously ap- 
proached the recumbent figure. No, he certainly 
was not asleep, for his head hung down limp over 
the bushes in a helpless way which could never 
be sleep. And as she approached nearer, she saw 
his arm flung out, the sleeve drawn tightly up, 
and a stream of blood pouring over the white cuff 
of the shirt and staining the outer blue sleeve 
with its dull sanguinary hue. 

She looked at the face! It was colorless, and 
the lips were parted under the dark mustache, as 
if in death itself. What should she do? Again 
the wild impulse, the whispering voice in her 
heart, clamored for her to turn and flee to her 
own home and send some one out who could do 
much more than she, an ignorant girl. But what 
if the soldier should die while she was traveling 
all that distance? She looked into the face; it 
was handsome in the extreme, and about the 
whole figure there was an indefinable clinging 
fascination, which drew her onward so uncon- 
sciously, that she hardly realized what decision 
she had made until she found herself on her knees 
beside the recumbent form, tying up the gaping 
wound in the arm as tightly as she could with her 
own homely but strong cotton handkerchief ; then 
over her own, she tied his own large handkerchief, 



213 



which she did not fail to notice was of the finest 
texture and of snowy whiteness. She ran down to 
the river, and filling the pretty blue soldier cap 
with water, managed to get a little between his 
lips, and then she bathed his head and moistened 
his pale brows. 

It seemed hours to her, but it was only a few 
minutes, before the dark eyes opened and gazed 
with seeming stupidity into her own. Then life 
returned to his face with a look, which in some 
way thrilled her to her very finger-tips she could 
not say whether it gave more pleasure or pain 
as it crept into the eyes of the soldier, and he 
gazed silently into the face bent over him- 

Ellen colored and turned away, ostensibly for 
more water. The young soldier again seemed to 
sink into a faint and again she bathed and soothed 
his lips and head with the cool water, using her 
own modest apron to lay across his head as a 
bandage. 

Without opening his eyes, the young man faint- 
ly gasped: 

"Will you tell me where I am and what has 
happened?" 

"Indeed, sir, I do not know. I found you lying 
here when I came along the path, and have done 
what I could to help you to recover." 

Ellen asked no questions of the young man, her 
native modesty closing her lips; yet she was deep- 



214 JOHN STEVENS' COURTSHIP 

ly anxious to know what had caused the singular 
accident. 

"Be good enough to hold my arm up, so the 
blood may not surge so painfully in the wound, 
will you?" 

Ellen obediently held up his arm, resting his 
elbow on her own knee to give it a firmer support. 

"The last I remember," whispered the young 
man, "two horsemen were coming towards me, 
and one seemed to threaten me with an open 
knife or dagger. I threw up my hand to ward the 
blow from my heart, and I knew no more." 

This peculiar story seemed to imply to Ellen's 
mind that some of her own people had noted the 
young man, and had tried either to kill or maim 
him. But she said nothing. Presently the girl 
grew brave enough to look at the handsome face 
beside her, as the eyes now remained closed, and 
the stranger seemed too exhausted to talk more. 
How fine and silky was the dark mustache which 
drooped charmingly over the well-cut mouth. The 
lips were very full; the chin was not so hand- 
some and well-cut as the mouth ; but the nose was 
fine, and the nostrils were delicate and arching; 
while the whole face was the handsomest she had 
ever seen, excepting that always handsomest of 
soldiers, Captain Van Arden. 

A vague wonder possessed her, why it was 
that her own boy friends and lovers were never 
so brilliant, so stately and so fine-featured as were 



A SOLDIER IN DISTRESS 215 

the few strangers she had seen. Were the "gen- 
tiles" all thus fascinating and charming in every 
way? Why must "Mormons" be always plain and 
uninteresting? 

"Do you think you could help me off these 
beastly bushes?" asked the young man. "They 
make a very uncomfortable resting place." 

Ellen hurriedly sought a place where she 
dragged away a few loose dried sticks and other 
debris, and then with all the strength she could 
muster, she half dragged, half assisted the stran- 
ger to the soft earthy couch under the willow and 
cottonwood trees. 

The light of the afternoon sun fell in dancing 
glints and shadows on Ellen's brown tresses- The 
flowers on her hair gave her the look of a wood- 
land sprite, which the dun-colored gown she 
wore, plain of skirt, but trimmed with ripples and 
ruffles of cunning device about the arms and 
shoulders, only increased. The flying draperies 
caught and flecked the sun and shadows of the 
cottonwood shade above them, making her re- 
semble indeed a leaf-clothed maid, the occasional 
sunbeams deepening her eyes to their richest 
shade of chestnut brown. 

"My name is Captain Sherwood, of the United 
States army. I came over here for a little hunt- 
ing and fishing," the young man said after his 
removal to more comfortable quarters. "I hope 
I have not frightened you, for I am not worth the 



216 JOHN STEVENS' COURTSHIP 

pain I fear I have given you. Please do not be 
afraid of me; I will get away from here just as 
soon as I can move, and shall not trouble you 
again." 

"Oh, I guess I shall get over my fright. I am 
glad I could be of a little service. It is my duty 
to be kind to everybody, and especially to a 
brother officer of Captain Van Arden. I knew 
him when he was here a year ago." 

"My child," said the officer, with emphasis, and 
speaking in a serious tone, "you have saved my 
life, and I shall never cease to be your most hum- 
ble and grateful friend, no matter where you go, 
or what may become of me." 

His dark eyes looked into her own with a soft 
appeal for sympathy and tolerance which was ir- 
resistible to the tender-hearted girl. 

"Indeed I have done but little; I have only 
helped you to recover from your faint from loss 
of blood." 

The young man winced at the simple, honest 
explanation, but sought again to impress his heart- 
felt gratitude upon the charming nurse he had se- 
cured. 

"Perhaps if some wandering 'Danite' had dis- 
covered me, in my helpless condition, instead of 
your gentle self, I should now indeed have no 
need for help or comfort in this life." 

"Indeed, sir, you mistake my people. They 
are not murderers nor cut-throats. I have heard 



A SOLDIER IN DISTRESS 2i? 

that the 'gentiles' think that there are wicked men 
among us banded together to kill people, but in all 
my life I never saw or knew of such a band or 
ever saw such a being as a 'Danite-' " 

The officer saw he had gone a little too far, and 
so he turned his face away and with a sigh, he 
moved toward the fast-setting sun, and mur- 
mured, after a short pause: 

"How beautiful the effects of the parting sun- 
gleams are on your charming wild valley, with its 
glistening, turquoise lake, the snow-topped 
mountains, cleft and seared into gorges and can- 
yon defiles, their uneven sides touched here and 
there with the deep green of the oak or the paler 
maple. You have a grand old castellated bulwark 
for the setting of your rural home." 

Now, all this was astounding to simple Ellen. 
To hear her gray, sage-covered, barren valley 
home described as in any way beautiful, and to 
know that such lovely descriptive albeit high- 
flown and theatrical words could be used in con- 
nection therewith, was a veritable revelation to 
her. 

But the allusion to the setting sun awakened 
other thoughts in her heart. Hastily rising, she 
sought her sun-bonnet, as she said : 

"I must go. It will be twilight now before I 
reach my home. I shall send someone down to 
help you and bring you to where you can be taken 
care of." 



218 JOHN STEVENS' COURTSHIP 

Evidently this was not at all to the young 
man's mind, but repressing outward expression 
of his feelings, he simply asked, "Will you not 
go back to the place of my accident, and see if 
you can see anything of my horse? I don't think 
he would wander away from me, he is too much 
of a pet; and if you can find him, I am sure I 
shall be able to mount and get back to my quar- 
ters without putting you or your people to any 
more trouble on my account." 

By some queer mental process, Ellen inferred 
that the soldier had good cause to fear the min- 
istrations of her own people, and yet she did not 
know how to answer such an inference. So she 
simply hurried back to the spot indicated, and 
there, not twenty feet from where she had found 
the officer, she saw the white horse, quietly bark- 
ing the cottonwood tree to which he was care- 
fully tied. 

She unfastened him, and leading him onward, 
remarked : 

"I guess your enemies, whoever they are, did 
not intend real harm to you for they have left 
your horse securely tied not far from where you 
lay." 

"I certainly owe them my heartfelt gratitude 
for that much; and to you I owe, what shall I 
say?" She was assisting him now to rise, and 
her face was close to his own, while his eyes 
shone with the look that had dazzled her once 



A SOLDIER IN DISTRESS 219 

before. "Shall I say that I owe to you not only 
my heartfelt gratitude, but its inmost devotion?" 

Ellen trembled, with a vague feeling which was 
half repulsion, half enchantment. She had never 
in her most romantic dreams imagined anything 
half so sudden, nor half so eloquent as she felt 
this warm, openly expressed admiration to be. 
She hardly knew whether it pleased or frightened 
her most. One thing was sure, she was so anx- 
ious to get back home that she hardly said another 
word to her companion. As he stoopingly bent 
over his horse in evident weakness and raised his 
cap with his uninjured hand, he said in a low, 
thrilling tone: "This beautiful green retreat will 
be to me for the rest of my life a sweet, solemn 
temple- For here I have met not only a threat- 
ened and averted danger, but have seen and 
known its high priestess to be a maiden with an 
angel's face and a heart of gold. May heaven 
guard you, my sweet friend, till we meet again." 

Ellen gave him one shy, half-frightened glance, 
and then with her heart choking her throat with 
violent emotion, she sped like a timid hare to her 
home, through fast deepening twilight. The sol- 
dier, once the girl was out of sight, coolly straight- 
ened out his arm, put the bandage in his pocket, 
snapped his fingers at the distant mountain peaks 
and rode away whistling a French love ditty. 

At the door Ellen met Aunt Clara, just going 
out with a bowl of gruel to a neighbor's sick 



220 JOHN STEVENS' COURTSHIP 

Child. Aunt Clara noted with her ever observant 
eye the quickened breathing, the air of indefinable 
excitement about the girl, even in the gloaming 
twilight, and pausing to stop Ellen from entering 
the house, she asked quietly: 

"What is the matter, dear? You pant as if you 
were excited, and your eyes shine so in the dark 
that they look like stars. Have you been fright- 
ened, and where have you been?" 

"Oh, I've just been running a little, for I stayed 
down the river too long, and had to run to get 
home before dark. No, I haven't been frightened, 
at least not to speak of. You know," she added, 
with an uneasy laugh, for Ellen had not learned 
yet to tell a direct lie, "that girls are natural cow- 
ards, Aunt Clara, and are frightened at their own 
shadows-" 

"Well, girls should always be careful, and es- 
pecially at these times. Why, Brother Winthrop 
says all this excitement about the army coming 
in has made the Indians very uneasy and uncer- 
tain, and you girls have no business away from 
home, especially alone. What if some of those 
wicked soldiers should take it into their heads to 
come over the valley snooping around here ! Let 
me warn you, Ellie, for I feel the spirit of it 
strongly upon me, for some cause or other, 
don't you ever venture away from this house, 
either night or day, unless you have safe and suffi- 
cient company." 



A SOLDIER IN DISTRESS 221 

For one breathless moment Ellen longed to 
throw herself into those blessed, kindly arms and 
sob out her whole confession. But Aunt Clara 
turned hastily, and said as she started away, 
"Some day, dear, you and I will talk more about 
this matter. But I must hurry away now to see 
Sister Harris' baby." 



XXI 
JOHN VISITS ELLEN 

SHE days came and went after this, with 
pain, pleasure, work, and mingled hopes 
and fears. Life was just now full of ex- 
citing plans, forecasts, and prophecies. 
Dian Winthrop went on her own sensible yet 
self-contained way. As her friend Ellen seemed 
able to do without her, she was content to be left 
alone. She worked and laughed and dressed and 
thought her own, serious, deep thoughts about 
life and her own being upon the earth, untroubled 
by fears, and full of the common trust in the God 
of her fathers, knowing that she would be well 
taken care of by her friends and family, no mat- 
ter what might happen. 

She "kept company" in an eminently sensible 
way with Charlie Rose, whenever he sought her 
out. While congratulating herself on the invari- 
able frankness with which she showed the young 
man that good as he might be he was not her 
ideal, yet she allowed him to spend all his spare 
means in taking her to their simple picnics and 
visits with which the young people whiled away 
their leisure time of waiting. 
. She did not allow the least attempt at a flirtation 



JOHN VISITS ELLEN 223 

with Tom Allen. She had not enough regard for 
him to make herself agreeable to him. But 
she herself was such a fine, handsome, superior 
looking and acting girl, and so admired by every- 
body, that Tom could not resist the temptation 
once in awhile of taking her out and thereby giv- 
ing her a chance of understanding and appreci- 
ating him at his own advanced valuation. 

Poor little Ellie, starved for her friend's con- 
fidence, shrinking with dread of what the future 
might bring her, and yet longing to meet and 
greet that danger, was half the time full of an un- 
natural gaiety, half the time moody and preter- 
naturally grave and silent. One night, when she 
and Aunt Clara sat in the front door of the hut, 
watching the moon rise in unequaled splendor 
over the gap in Rock Canyon, they heard a horse- 
man coming up the street, and in a moment he 
appeared in front of their gate. His cheery "whoa" 
to his animal caused Ellen to run hastily out, ex- 
claiming, 

"Why, it's John Stevens! Oh you dear old 
John, how glad I am to see you!" and as John 
sprang from his horse, she threw her arms around 
his neck, as if he were her own dear brother, and 
thus she sobbed out her joy and her vague fears 
on his friendly shoulder. 

The tall, silent man allowed her to cry until 
she was calmed, and while he felt every throb of 
her tenderness in his own responsive soul, he felt, 



224 JOHN STEVENS' COURTSHIP 

too, that underneath it all, there was something 
deeper and more serious than he could at present 
fathom. He left that to a future, better under- 
standing, however, and contented himself with 
gently stroking her soft brown braids, while he 
chatted with Aunt Clara about matters of interest 
to both. 

Once inside the house, and John's supper over, 
Ellen seemed a very spirit of mischievous at- 
traction. She fluttered around her great, big, red- 
bearded friend; and with the sweetest smiles and 
most coaxing fascination, seemed a very magnet 
of charm. John did not try to resist this uncon- 
scious effort of Ellie's to be winsome and loving 
as he sat with his eyes bent gravely upon her, 
occasionally answering her witty sallies ; inward- 
ly, however, he was anxious to unravel the whole 
of this perplexing, if delightful, mystery. 

Aunt Clara noted all these things, for when did 
she ever fail to see all there was to be seen when 
she was present? But she wisely left the young 
people to arrange their own affairs, discreetly 
proceeding with her knitting, and putting in a re- 
mark now and then, only as occasion seemed to 
require. 

Was Ellen in love with him? This was the 
question which forced itself upon John's mind, 
in spite of his modesty. Or, was there something 
else which caused all this excitement? 




XXII 
IF YOU LOVE ME, JOHN 

HE question with which John Stevens 
troubled himself is one which any mod- 
est man dislikes to put to himself. If 
love comes in answer to the solicitation 
of love, the question is rarely asked; but if love 
has come from an unexpected source, the result 
is an effort to reciprocate that affection, or else 
a vague annoyance, a feeling of being injured in 
some inexplicable way, which will intrude upon 
the consciousness. 

The afternoon after his arrival John spent with 
a hungry, passionate longing at his heart for a 
welcoming word from the one woman he had 
loved so faithfully and so devotedly for years. 
As Diantha passed out of the house on her way 
toward the river, he wondered why it was his 
heart should cling so tenaciously to her, in spite 
of her coldness and her neglect. 

Why could not he love sweet Ellen best instead 
of the indifferent Dian, she who sometimes 
wounded her best and dearest, if it happened to 
meet her mind to do so? No use to ask; how- 
ever, he knew that if he could not win her love, 
eternity would hold a regret for him, for this 
woman had become necessary to his happiness. 

15 



226 JOHN STEVENS' COURTSHIP 

He sat under the cottonwood tree in the front 
yard as these reflections passed through his mind, 
and pulling his long beard with some impatience, 
he looked up in time to catch the laughing eyes 
of Ellen Tyler as she passed one of the front 
windows. 

"Why, John, you look as if you saw a whole 
cavalcade approaching our house to drive us into 
the mountains. What on earth is the matter?" 

"Nothing much, Ellen; come out and let's take 
a walk." 

"All right, if you will go with me up into town, 
for Sister Winthrop wants some things from the 
Tithing Office." 

"Come on, then." And away they sauntered 
in the warm sunshine, John determined to con- 
quer his heart by the mere force of will, and El- 
len as determined to grasp this straw of protec- 
tion and comfort which seemed held out to her 
by the strong, safe hand of her loved friend. 

John was really lover-like in his manner this 
afternoon, and poor, perplexed Ellen's heart 
opened to the warm sunshine of that sympathy 
like a half-withered, thirsty flower. Little by little, 
she confided to him the story of Tom Allen's un- 
fortunate dream, and she felt comforted and 
strengthened by the serious and kindly way in 
which John explained to her the irreverence 
manifested by Tom in thus attempting to jest up- 
on such a holy, solemn subject. And John was 



IF YOU LOVE ME, JOHN 227 

wise enough to palliate Tom's error, so that El- 
len was left with a peaceful, quieted heart, which 
held no bitterness for Tom and very little of anger 
against Dian for the unseemly mirth that young 
lady had manifested. How good, and how wise 
John was! What a splendid soul was hid be- 
neath his cool and deliberate manner! Surely 
she could win his heart; at any rate she was go- 
ing to try. 

"Do the soldiers come over on this side of the 
valley very often?" she asked, as they had ex- 
hausted the other subject. 

"I should hope not. I would not want to find 
any of them prowling around here ; it might be the 
worse for them, if I did," answered John in a sort 
of low, threatening growl. 

"Why, John, you would not object to their 
breathing the same air as we do, would you?" 

"It depends. I don't want them near this town, 
be assured of that." 

A dim suspicion that the young officer she had 
met so often of late was right in his surmise 
that her own people would kill him at sight if 
they found him near their towns, made her ask 
another question: 

"John, if you should happen to find one of those 
soldiers out shooting or fishing near the river, 
would you try to do him any violence?" 

Something in her tone gave him a vague un- 
easy twinge. He looked quietly into the flushed 



228 JOHN STEVENS' COURTSHIP 

face and bright uplifted eyes for a moment, and 
then asked instead of answering: 

"Ellen dear, have you ever seen one of those 
soldiers on this side of the river?" 

It took a great deal of courage for Ellen to 
answer that question truthfully; yet with those 
keen, kindly, piercing eyes upon her, she could 
but tell the story of her first meeting with 
Captain Sherwood, leaving her story at the close 
of that long interview without adding anything 
as to further meetings and conversations. 

She was very glad she took this precaution, for 
she was fairly frightened at the terrible expres- 
sion of wrath which overspread the features of 
her companion. He said not a word for several 
minutes, and she grew seriously alarmed at the 
anger in those eyes, always bent upon her in such 
kindness, as she wished heartily that she had said 
nothing whatever about the matter. At last she 
ventured to say: 

"What is it, John; are you angry with me? I 
could not help it." 

The man divined at once that he had startled 
the girl, and perhaps closed her lips for the fu- 
ture; so with a profound effort, he stilled the 
tempest of wrath in his heart, and made out to 
laugh a little, as he replied : 

"What a bear I must be, to frighten an in- 
nocent child like you. No, my dear girl, I am 
not nor could I be angry with you. You could 



IF YOU LOVE ME, JOHN 229 

never give me cause for anger. I might be hurt 
or sorry about you, but you would never make 
me angry." 

He paused again, as if to collect himself still 
further, and then said: 

"Tell me about it again, Ellen dear." 

Thus quieted, Ellen began at the beginning. 

"Did he say that the 'Mormons' had stabbed 
him?" asked John. 

Ellen had to think a moment, and then an- 
swered: "No, I don't think he mentioned 'Mor- 
mons,' but of course, I thought he meant 'Mor- 
mons.' " 

As the story proceeded, John stopped her at 
every point, and insisted on having the most ex- 
plicit explanations. When the story was again 
completed, John turned the keen, kindly eyes on 
her pleading face and said: 

"You were a brave, true girl to defend your 
people against the slanders about the 'Danites;' 
and I don't think you have it in your power to 
run away from a sick kitten, much less an injured 
man, if you thought you could help him. So 
don't blame yourself one bit, it was all right so far 
as you were concerned. But as for that devil in 
human form, let me show you how improbable 
his whole story was. For instance, do you think 
a man like that would ride around here to hunt 
and fish? He has seen some girl down here" El- 
len was glad she did not say anything about the 



230 JOHN STEVENS' COURTSHIP 

bathing incident, "and has come over here hunt- 
ing our girls to ruin and destroy them. And do 
you think he would come without a pistol? And 
if he had one, would he let someone get near 
enough to stab him? And if a man wanted to kill 
him would he stop short with a cut on the arm? 
And then, would such a man tie up the soldier's 
horse, safely to a tree, so that he could get up 
and run away whenever he wanted to? Bosh, 
it was a trick which no one but a trusting, un- 
suspecting woman would have been ready to ac- 
cept as a fact. But there, my dear, you are not to 
blame at all; it is all over now, thank God, and 
I am very sure you will not go out alone again, 
especially near the river, or far away from home 
in any direction." 

"Why, John, all our folks go down to the river 
at times; did not you see Dian starting for a 
walk down there just as we were leaving the 
house to come up here?" 

Again that white, silent wrath spread over the 
face of her companion, and added to it was a 
flaming redness which seemed to leap into his 
eyes instead of his cheeks. The effect of her 
words frightened the girl at his side. Truly he 
had seen Dian start out that way ; he remembered 
it all very clearly now, but in his proud endeavor 
to drive her out of his heart, he had also driven 
her out of his mind. 

"I dare say, John dear, she is expecting to meet 



IF YOU LOVE ME, JOHN 231 

Tom Allen or Charlie Rose down by the river, 
for you know Dian has a way of always having a 
string of beaus running after her." 

This was said to comfort John, and to assist 
in driving from his face that awful anger whose 
white silence so terrified her. 

After a pause John asked her: 

"Do you want to go with me down to the river 
and show me where it is that you met this man? 
It is barely possible that Dian may have gone 
in the same direction-" 

They were returning from town now, and El- 
len answered: 

"Of course she has, for the place where I met 
him is just where Dian and I cleared away the 
underbrush purposely for a little shady retreat 
for the both of us, and until we were mad at each 
other a few weeks ago, we never went there alone, 
and rarely missed a day but washdays and Sun- 
days of going there to talk and rest. Of course, 
I will go with you, only let us go by the house, so 
I can leave these things there for Aunt Clara." 

There was very little said on that riverward 
walk. Ellen was thinking sadly of the many 
times she had met and talked with the young 
stranger, of which she dared not speak to her 
companion, and of how foolish she had been to 
run such risks. She was thinking, too, of Dian 
being down there, and wondering with a vague 
jealousy if Dian had also been there when she 



232 JOHN STEVENS' COURTSHIP 

knew it not, and if she too was courting the 
admiration of the officer. But she put this away 
in a moment, for she would not do Dian the in- 
justice to suppose that with all her proud and 
self-centered spirit, she could deliberately do such 
a criminal, deceitful thing as that would be. She 
forgot to designate her own conduct as severely 
as she was doing the faintly supposed conduct 
of her friend. But, then, Dian was such an emi- 
nently proper young woman that no one ever 
suspected, much less accused her of doing any- 
thing unladylike or at all imprudent. 

As for poor John Stevens, he had been laboring 
for years, ever since he had been a man, with a 
man's understanding of life and its responsibili- 
ties, for the acquisition of the severe self-control 
necessary to subdue his passionate nature. He 
had fought such a gallant fight against his love 
for Diantha Winthrop, that no one, not even 
Dian herself, suspected the profound emotions 
which had been so hard for him to control. He 
had learned to control his temper, that fierce, 
vicious thing, which his dead sainted mother had 
trained him from early youth to hold in check; 
about which he had often prayed, aye, and even 
fasted, that it might never rise beyond his power 
of government; but now, indeed, when he felt 
both love and anger flooding his soul in such an 
overwhelming tide, he was powerless to hold both 
flood tides in check. His hands kept clinching 



IF YOU LOVE ME, JOHN 233 

and twisting in unavailing impotence, and his 
throat was so dry and parched that he could 
not have uttered a word. His whole being was 
for the time a darkened void, where nought but 
a fearful apprehension and hot anger could pene- 
trate his consciousness. 

He walked beside his companion in silence, 
which was far worse than another man's rage. 

"Why, John, I think I am more frightened 
of you than I was of the soldier," said Ellen at 
last. The silence had become too oppressive for 
her- "I can't imagine what ails you today. I 
thought you were the gentlest and quietest of 
men." 

John stopped short in their walk, looked up a 
moment into the burning sky above him, stroked 
his beard with a slow motion, and with a little 
preparatory cough to clear away the dryness in 
his throat, he said in his drawling voice: 

"Oh, don't be afraid; I would not injure even 
a soldier, if it were not wise or right to do so, 
my girl. I feel a little angry, that is all, that any 
one should seek to entangle our girls and draw 
them away from the safety and purity of their 
own innocent happy lives. That is all. Don't 
be afraid ; I dare say both you and I are imagin- 
ing a lot of things which will never happen. You 
will soon forget all about this handsome devil, 
while we will find Diantha down there quietly 
talking with Tom or Charlie Rose, or some other 



234 JOHN STEVENS' COURTSHIP 

nice fellow, and she will be angry to see us come 
spying on her love affairs." 

Yet, even as he spoke, his keen eyes detected 
away in the distant trees, where the brush had 
been cut away and the eyes could travel some 
distance in the green embrasure, a glint of a 
white dress, and he was sure that the coat be- 
side the dress was a blue one, not the dark home- 
spun he knew would be worn by his own people. 

Both John and Ellen quieted every evidence 
of their approach, and Ellen fell behind her com- 
panion, with a dreadful shrinking fear at her 
heart, mixed even then with a bit of jealousy of 
her friend's apparent free understanding with her 
own cavalier. 

"What are you doing here?" growled a low, 
husky voice behind the two, who were seated on a 
fallen tree, apparently absorbed in a book. 

Diantha Winthrop looked up, startled, yet with 
full control of herself. 

"Oh, John, this is Captain Sherwood, of the 
United States army, you know, and he is read- 
ing Shakespeare to me, for you know how fond 
of poetry I am." 

"How did you come here?" again growled the 
husky voice, unheeding the brave, frank explan- 
ation so coolly offered him. 

The young officer threw back his head, partly 
because he was encouraged by the apparent lack 
of fear on the part of his companion, and also be- 



IF YOU LOVE ME, JOHN 235 

cause of the fact that no matter if possessed of 
every fault and sin in the decalogue, Captain 
Sherwood was no coward. 

"Well, my good fellow, even if your question 
is not a very civil one, I will give you a civil an- 
swer. I came here, as I usually go everywhere, 
on the back of my trusty horse. I suppose that 
even a soldier is permitted to go where he pleas- 
es in this free and semi-civilized domain belong- 
ing to Uncle Sam. Have you any objections to 
my going wherever I please?" 

John folded his arms and waited quietly for 
more explanations. 

The soldier also waited a moment, and then, 
constrained to say something more, in spite of 
himself, he added: 

"This young lady has condescended to let me 
read to her some of the eloquent classics found 
in our immortal Shakespeare. But perhaps you 
know nothing of poetry, and Shakespeare's name 
may not even have a meaning for you." 

The insolence of this reply did not provoke the 
other to outward anger, although it certainly had 
its effect. Just at this moment Ellen came out 
from her retreat, and as the soldier caught sight 
of her he swept off his cap in a magnificent bow, 
and with a fine and dignified manner, the man- 
ner of a southern gentleman to a woman he 
wishes to please, he said softly: 

"It is a rare pleasure to see Miss Tyler." Then 



236 JOHN STEVENS' COURTSHIP 

as he saw that the girl's face was white with fear, 
and her hands clasped in evident pain, he bowed 
and added : "Do not be alarmed, madam ; I am too 
insignificant for your friend to seek to harm me, 
and as for him, it is sufficient to know that he is 
your friend ; he and his are sacred to me from this 
moment; I would not injure him or them even if 
my life pays the penalty." 

There was a grandiosity about this speech 
which struck upon Dian's nerves a little unpleas- 
antly, but to Ellen the tone and manner seemed 
the most gentlemanly and elegant she had ever 
witnessed; while his evident emotion at seeing 
her flattered her vain soul with infinite sweetness. 

All this while John had stood watching every- 
thing and saying nothing. At last Dian ap- 
proached him, and laying her hand fearlessly up- 
on his arm, she said in a slightly shaken voice, al- 
though still with perfect self-control : 

"I hope, John, that you will remember that this 
gentleman has done nothing offensive, and that 
it was my fault that he remained here to read to 
me. You will allow him to return to his own place 
without the least molestation from anyone. For 
the rest, I alone am to be held responsible." 

John groaned in spite of himself. Both the girls, 
like the women they were, would not cast blame 
upon the sneaking man, thus taking away his only 
weapon of revenge. That groan startled Dian, and 
made Ellen tremble like a broken reed in the 



237 



wind, and even the soldier's face paled a little at 
its intensity. But Dian was equal to the occasion ; 
her fine common sense stood her in good stead. 
This was no time to be romantic; good practical 
sense and reason was what they all needed now. 
She caught hold of his arm with her own small 
but firm hand and said calmly and distinctly : 

"Look here, John Stevens, there's no sense in 
your getting angry. You know well enough that 
President Young has said repeatedly that there 
should be no blood spilt in these times, and you 
know, too, that this gentleman is not to blame if a 
girl chooses to accept his invitation to spend an 
hour in his company. Just calm yourself, for 
neither Ellen nor I have committed any sin, and 
we are old enough to have some rights of our 
own. And I am not going to be dictated to by 
any creature on this earth, man or woman ! What- 
ever you want to say to me must not be said in 
anger." 

John looked into the eyes of the woman beside 
him, and with such a look ! He was muttering un- 
der his breath: "Oh, God help me!" And the 
anguish and love and anger and struggle for self- 
control which were shown in that look shook even 
Dian's heart with a vague trembling which she 
could not understand. 

"Dian, you take Ellen and go home. I shall do 
nothing rash, God help me, and you need have no 



238 JOHN STEVENS' COURTSHIP 

fear; but I beg you to go quietly home, and take 
good care of Ellen." 

Moved by some inexplicable impulse, Dian drew 
herself close to him 'and in a low whisper she 
said: 

"Don't be harsh, John," and then lower still, "if 
you love me, John/' 



D 



XXIII 
DOWN BY THE RIVERSIDE 

IANTHA turned away, and putting her 
arm around her friend, they sped 
through the late afternoon sunshine to 
their home with flying feet, silent 
tongues and an unspoken prayer in both hearts for 
John Stevens that he might not be overcome. 

As for John, he strode up to the soldier, as soon 
as the girls were out of hearing, and with the low 
roar of an angry lion, he growled : 

"What is to hinder my choking the dastard life 
out of your lustful body?" As he spoke, quick as 
a flash, he had pinioned the man's arms, and with 
the grip of an infuriated animal, he had his hands 
around the white, gentlemanly throat, and for a 
moment his passion so blinded him that he knew 
nothing, saw nothing, but a huge, black cloud 
which overspread all nature and his own heart. 

This murderous impulse passed, and with an- 
other awful groan, he released his hold, and with 
a fling, threw the stranger away from him, and 
quickly turning his back, buried his face in his 
hands, while one hot, silent tear scalded his re- 
pentant eyes. 

The soldier, after a few moments of insensi- 



240 



bility, came to himself, and with a profound ef- 
fort, he dragged himself up, and shaking his body 
together, he stood upon his feet, and said, quietly 
and sneeringly, though somewhat hoarsely: 

"You asked me a very queer question, my good 
fellow, and if I had not more regard for law and 
decency than you seem to have, I would answer it 
like this" with the words, John felt the muzzle 
of a revolver at his ear. Again, with the flash of 
a tiger, John seized the other's arm, twisted the 
pistol out of his hand, and with a quick, backward 
spring, he had thrown the weapon into the brawl- 
ing river beside them, while with a deep sneer in 
his voice, he answered : 

"Do you think, you soldiers, that you are out 
here with nothing but squaws to oppose you? Men 
who have wives and homes to protect are not 
afraid of popguns." And then, as if mastered anew 
with the terrible emotions surging in his breast, 
John asked, slowly : "What is to hinder my send- 
ing your soul to hell, where it rightfully belongs?" 

This time the soldier looked into the hot, angry 
eyes close to his own, and perhaps his own bra- 
very had some effect in calming John, for after a 
few minutes, the soldier folded his own arms, and 
with a light touch indicating the epaulets upon 
his shoulders, he said, almost airily: 

"Oh, I dare say that even you have some re- 
spect for this Government of ours. And perhaps, 
too, your wholesome fear of displeasing the no- 



DOWN BY THE RIVERSIDE 241 

torious Brigham would hinder you from disgrac- 
ing yourself." 

John said nothing, and the other quietly went 
to the tree where his horse was fastened, and un- 
tying and mounting his steed, said lightly: 

"Have you any messages to send to our fort? 
If so, I shall be pleased to carry them." 

"Yes, you may tell your commander-in-chief 
that if he wishes to keep the heads of his men on 
their shoulders, he would do well to keep them 
away from our towns. We will defend our homes 
and our virtue with our lives." 

The soldier was now on his horse, and compar- 
atively safe, so he ventured to reply tauntingly : 

"Ah, my dear fellow, don't trouble yourself ; the 
women will hunt us up- I know the dear crea- 
tures better than you do. You are very unsophis- 
ticated, depend upon it. We shall soon have hard 
work to keep out of the way of them. Ta, ta!" 
And before John could move, he had dashed away 
in the trees, and was soon out of sight and hear- 
ing. 

John Stevens was left behind with all the ag- 
onized load of fear and dread which swept over 
him like a mountain cloud-burst. He leaned 
against a tree and with arms folded across his 
breast and head dropped, he heaved many a sigh 
and shed some scalding tears. The thing he had 
most dreaded in the onslaught upon his people 
had come to pass. And to think that the two 



242 JOHN STEVENS' COURTSHIP 

women he loved best upon the earth should be in 
the greatest danger from this scourge. Death for 
the men; hunger, cold, war, pain, all these were 
slight things compared with the danger which 
had been ever present. The temptation which 
would assail the youth of both sexes, but more 
particularly the young women, to forsake the sim- 
ple, honest lives of their people, and to become 
involved in the sins and corruptions of the outside 
world; this had been his constant dread. Was 
this not Zion? Was God not coming from His 
hiding place to keep Babylon from our midst? 
With all the strength of his soul he loved chastity 
and purity. He had, at what cost no one but a 
strong man may tell, kept his own nature as sweet 
and pure as that of any woman, and he knew that 
in strictest chastity only there was safety and 
peace for either man or woman in this life or the 
life to come. Why was he so sensitive to all these 
impressions and fears? Why could he not be like 
Tom Allen, careless and unthinking as to past, 
present and future, unless it affected his own 
pleasure? But he knew he could not. Gifted with 
a peculiarly sensitive and keenly perceptive na- 
ture, he saw far beyond the present action ; he saw 
the end to which such action tended, in a measure, 
and he suffered with the intensity of such a soul, 
when he or any he loved turned aside from the 
narrow, straight path of chastity and right. 

After hours of silent suffering and struggle, he 



DOWN BY THE RIVERSIDE 243 

arose to find the stars shining above his head in a 
shimmering peace, and with a heavy, but quieted 
heart, he made his way home to the village be- 
yond. He resolved that he would seek Bishop 
Winthrop the next day, and perhaps even go to 
President Young for some counsel in this terrible 
situation. 

The bishop was much moved and excited 
over the events which had involved his own 
sister, as well as the step-daughter of his friend, 
Clara Tyler. The bishop suggested at once that 
they should go to see President Young, and lay 
the whole affair before him for counsel. They 
found President Young full of business cares and 
anxieties concerning the fate of his people, but 
when the two men entered, the President asked 
them to go with him to his inner room, and they 
could then present their business before him- 

John Stevens told the whole story, not adding 
one detail, nor seeking in the least to exaggerate 
the danger or the wrong attempted. But his brief, 
quiet statement did more to lay the true state of 
the case before the President than a torrent of lan- 
guage could have conveyed. Bishop Winthrop 
was very much wrought up, and begged the 
President to take steps to prevent any such meet- 
ings in the future. He was for threatening to kill 
any soldier who was found outside of his own 
barracks. 

The President listened to the wild talk and 



244 JOHN STEVENS' COURTSHIP 

plans of his excited companion as he had to the 
quieter, yet intenser recital of John Stevens. After 
each had said all he cared to say on the matter, the 
President, who had been twirling his thumbs, as 
was his custom when in deep thought, turned his 
piercing eyes upon the two men so anxiously re- 
garding him, and said slowly : 

"It's no use, brethren, to try to force people to 
do right. You can't keep people virtuous by shut- 
ting them up in prisons. The only way that I 
know of to get men or women to walk in the path 
of virtue and righteousness, is to teach them cor- 
rect principles, and then let each one govern him- 
self. If our daughters want to do wrong, if they 
can't find any of our boys who will help them, they 
will find plenty of men in the world ready to ruin 
them. After such girls have learned their lessons 
they will be glad to creep back to father's hearth- 
stone, and to sit under the shelter they once de- 
spised. Teach all to do right and to live their re- 
ligion, and give them their agency. Let parents 
live their religion and go quietly along, and some 
day their children will all come back to them." 

This was hard counsel for these two men to fol- 
low ; they were so anxious, so full of loving solici- 
tude for the two beautiful girls in question. After 
a moment the President looked searchingly at 
John Stevens, and said inquiringly: 

"Brother Stevens, why don't you court one of 
those girls and marry her yourself? The best way 



DOWN BY THE RIVERSIDE 245 

to drive out evil is by introducing good in its 
place. Women and men both desire to love and 
be loved; and I sometimes think our Elders will 
be held responsible for the loss of our girls, if they 
make no effort to give them a love worthy and 
pure." 

The conference was ended, and John felt the 
whole burden had been flung back on his shoul- 
ders. Well, he was strong and willing; he was 
no coward, either. But how could he do the im- 
possible? 




XXIV 
ELLIE'S SECOND WARNING 

| HE two girls avoided John all the next 
day, for with feminine instinct they di- 
vined their case would come up for 
grave consideration, and neither cared to 
be questioned or chastised. 

When this startling incident came to the ears 
of Aunt Clara Tyler, she buckled on her aggres- 
sive armor of righteousness, but like the tactful 
soul she was, she drew over her steel coat the soft 
velvet robe of tender sympathy and bided her 
time. 

Two nights after Dian's encounter, the girls 
were out at a neighboring party. Returning some- 
what late, Aunt Clara's watchful ears heard them 
call out their merry good-nights to their com- 
panions, and the psychological moment was upon 
them. 

The girls found her busy at their own wagon- 
box bedroom, and they were glad for a pair of 
sympathetic ears in which to pour out the story 
of "what he said" and "she said" with the eve- 
ning's trivial happenings, all of such moment to 
young, fresh hearts. 



ELLIE'S SECOND WARNING 247 

"How good it is to get a word with you, 
Auntie," cooed Ellen, "you are off so much with 
the sick that I don't get a chance to hug you once 
a week." 

Joining in their merry chatter, the two girls sit- 
ting cross-legged on their narrow bed, their 
mentor sat on the stool at the front end of the 
box, and gently led them into deep conversational 
waters. 

"These brilliant men of the world do know how 
to say pretty things, don't they?" said Ellen, after 
Dian had related the river inciderit, in her own 
candid fashion. 

"And he never said a rude word or did an of- 
fensive thing," finished Dian. 

"Good manners, my dear, are only the real or 
the assumed expression of a truly unselfish soul. 
Tact is like charity it sometimes covers a multi- 
tude of sins." 

Ellen sat silent while this talk went on; Aunt 
Clara noted it and drew her own shrewd conclu- 
sions. 

"Well, why must this sweet and gentle courtesy 
belong only to men who are not good, Aunt 
Clara?" continued Dian. 

"It mustn't, and yet it too often does. Pioneer 
life in every country leaves very little time for 
young men especially to cultivate the amenities of 
life. Aren't our leaders courteous, and can you 
find lovelier ladies than Sister Eliza R. Snow and 



248 JOHN STEVENS' COURTSHIP 

Zina D. Young? Our girls are as crude in much 
of their behavior as are our boys. First the mar- 
ble must be hewn out, then comes the polish." 

"I love the polish," murmured Ellen. And Dian 
added frankly : 

"So do I ! The rocks in the hillside are ugly !" 

"Not ugly their rough beauty appeals to an 
educated mind. And polish is so deceptive. You 
could enamel any cheap and poor surface, but heat 
or power would crush the false substance into 
powder. Ah no, my dear motherless girls, it is 
my duty to warn you ! I see what your youthful 
eyes could not perceive. The allurements of bad 
men and corrupt worldliness, have ever been and 
ever will be present with us in this world. 'Take 
away the devil's fascination, and you would cut off 
his right arm at the shoulder,' is an old proverb. 
The only safety for youth and inexperience is to 
take the counsel of their parents and guardians. 
I am a widow, and earn my living by nursing the 
sick. So I am obliged to leave you girls to watch 
yourselves much of the time." 

"But taking counsel always means to do the 
thing you don't want to do," pouted Dian, "and 
to leave undone the things you would like to do." 

"That pretty nearly sums up life's best disci- 
pline. And now let me warn you, my dear, pre- 
cious girls, let that soldier alone, and every other 
man whose life and character is unknown to your 
guardians; have fun, enjoy yourselves, but don't 



ELLIE'S SECOND WARNING 249 

go outside your own safe circle for pleasure or for 
peace." 

"Oh, pshaw!" grumbled Diantha. But Aunt 
Clara knew that the temporary resistance of Di- 
antha's frank nature would yield in time, and that 
above all, she could never quite bring herself to 
disobey any given counsel. That was the rock 
upon which the girl's character was builded. As 
for Ellen: 

"Ellie," said her aunt, solemnly, "let me warn 
you and forewarn you against any evil temptation 
such as has just assailed Diantha. I'm sure I 
don't know how you would come out from such a 
test, my dear, for you do love admiration so well." 

"Of course Diantha's the perfect one," replied 
Ellen, sharply; "I am never quite safe or quite 
right," but she was very glad Dian had kept her 
secret. For there was surely no need of Aunt 
Clara knowing all that! 

Alack! The loyalty of youth to youth some- 
times works them grave disaster. If Diantha had 
only been a little less loyal, Aunt Clara would 
have been set upon the watch tower ; for she, with 
her riper years, knew the weakness as well as the 
charm of her pretty niece as inexperienced Dian 
could not then know. But both girls had now 
been rightly taught and cautioned, and so the 
elder woman kissed them good-night and left 
them to the deep slumber of youth and health- 



XXV 
"DO YOU CARE FOR JOHN STEVENS?" 



EVERAL evenings later, at supper, Tom 
Allen remarked that the Snows were 
coming over to spend the evening, and 
he wondered if they could have some 
games in the front yard, as it was a bright, moon- 
light night. Both Diantha and Ellen were wait- 
ing upon the table, and no one for the moment 
seemed anxious to answer Tom's remark. Sister 
Winthrop, as well as Aunt Clara, had evidently 
heard something of recent events, and both were 
very serious and quiet. But the others of this 
large and oddly assorted family assemblage had 
heard nothing, and accordingly the idea of having 
some games to help pass away the brief summer 
evening with plenty of music of concertina and 
accordion was received with general favor. 

It was a little puzzling to Diantha to see the 
lover-like attention of John Stevens to her friend 
Ellen that evening. They sat together, they 
chose each other for every game, they talked 
together in the most confidential manner, and at 
last ended by going off together for a walk before 
the evening was half over. Of course, she had 
seen them act just that way before ; but then she 
had cared nothing whatever about it; John was 



"DO YOU CARE FOR JOHN STEVENS?" 251 

always very queer, and she never knew quite how 
to take him. In fact, that was about the only rea- 
son she had retained the slightest interest in him. 
A girl does so dislike a man who lets her know 
all there is to know about himself! A little dis- 
creet reserve is such a charm in a man. 

Now, my lady Dian felt that she had been actu- 
ated by a very uncommon feeling down in the 
grove, and she had actually stooped to ask a man 
to do a favor for her own sweet sake if he loved 
her, forsooth. Certainly that man ought to re- 
spond by devoting himself to her at once and for- 
ever. And that man was doing the very opposite 
thing. Dian had forgotten that she was wearing 
Charlie Rose's ring; had quite forgotten all that 
might be involved or inferred from such a circum- 
stance. She watched and waited for their return 
from the walk, feeling for the first time in her 
life, that somebody had slighted her. 

It was not altogether an accident that she sat 
under the cottonwood tree on the return of the 
two, nor was it wholly by design that my lady 
looked like the very spirit of the night, with her 
simple white dress, her pale yellow gleaming hair 
breaking about her face in rings and waves, while 
her white arms, bared to the elbow, rested on her 
lap and deadened the white of her dress by their 
warm, creamy tints. 

Charlie Rose stood at a little distance, evidently 
enjoying every detail of the beautiful picture as he 



252 JOHN STEVENS' COURTSHIP 

leaned on the rude bars of the fence near Dian. 
Ellen came up to Dian, and as John sat down on 
one side of her, she slid close to her friend on the 
other side, and put her arms lovingly around her 
neck. 

"Oh, Dian, isn't the night lovely?" 
"Yes, dear, it is. But it is getting late and we 
must go in." 

John sat so close to the fair-haired girl that he 
could see the starry shine in her soft blue eyes, 
and as he looked at her beautiful face the remem- 
brance of the scene he had witnessed in the grove, 
and that this dear girl had been gazed at and ad- 
mired by a wicked man, brought the hot tide of 
feeling welling up in his heart, and he was obliged 
to turn away his face from her dazzling beauty, 
while he slowly stroked his long beard, and lis- 
tened to Charlie Rose exchanging poetic nonsense 
with the two girls. 

"Two stars agleam in the silent night 
Two girls a-dream in the soft moonlight," 
improvised Charlie. 

"The girls have a dread of a cool evening breeze, 
For they catch a stray cough, two colds and a 

sneeze," 

jeered Dian in response. And she took Charlie's 
arm as she allowed him to escort her into the 
house. 

Ah, John Stevens, John Stevens, your lesson 
is not learned yet! 



"DO YOU CARE FOR JOHN STEVENS?" 253 

As the two girls said good-night to their friends 
they instinctively sat down on their wagon-box 
bed for a long talk, something neither had enjoyed 
for weeks; and they felt all the joy of recovered 
confidence. What if Dian did feel a little half 
jealous of Ellen, and Ellen was more than a little 
jealous of Dian ! They were girls, and were sin- 
cere friends. Jealousy could not rob them of their 
real affection for each other; they were both too 
noble for that. 

In the long and confidential talk which followed, 
Dian learned far more of the young soldier's visits 
than had been told John Stevens. And while Dian 
could see that her friend had been in a very dan- 
gerous position, her own foolish action of the af- 
ternoon before closed her lips against giving the 
good advice with which she was generally so 
ready. 

"But, you know, Dian, that it is all over now, 
and I am going to behave myself after this. Say, 
Dian, do you care anything about John Stevens?" 

The question was a frank one, and Diantha was 
not the person to evade any sort of a question. But 
she was also honest, and she sat some minutes be- 
fore giving her answer. She wanted to tell the 
exact truth. 

"No, I don't care about John, in the sense of the 
word that you imply ; I don't know whether I ever 
could or not. I can't tell; maybe, if he really 
loved me, and tried awfully hard to make me love 



254 JOHN STEVENS' COURTSHIP 

him, well, I don't know, I'm sure. But one thing 
I am sure of, I don't care anything about him 
now, only as a friend. Why?" 

"Oh, I just wanted to know, dear ; for I believe 
I could love him better than any man on earth, if 
he would let me." 

"Well, my dear, just you go on loving him, for I 
am sure he loves you, and I hope you will be hap- 
py with him." 

It would not be the truth to say that dignified 
Dian felt no inner pang of jealousy as she uttered 
these generous sentiments. There stirred in her 
heart a very indistinct wish to know the exact 
condition of her friend John Stevens' affections. 
Curiosity in a woman is not always a common 
thing, but if once roused, it is apt to be a very 
strong motive. 

That night there rode into Provo the Governor 
of Utah, accompanied by a strong posse of Utah 
militia. He had come to expostulate with Brig- 
ham Young, and to induce him to return to Salt 
Lake City. John Stevens was on his way from the 
evening frolic to the President's home, to take up 
his guard duty, when he met the party just riding 
into town. Governor Gumming hailed John with 
hearty friendship. 

"Captain Stevens, I am happy to see you here. 
Will you kindly inform President Young that I 
wish to see him as soon as possible?" 



"DO YOU CARE FOR JOHN STEVENS?" 255 

John at once complied with this somewhat hur- 
ried and informal request, and was on hand at the 
conference which, late as was the hour, proved 
not very long, but certainly full of interest. 

The anxious and wearied Governor laid before 
the "Mormon" leader all the conditions through 
which the Territory had just passed ; he rehearsed 
in no measured terms his contempt for the actions 
of some of the Federal authorities ; he assured the 
"Mormon" leaders that Gen. Johnston, who was 
now safely camped in the Cedar Valley, would do 
all in his power to bring about peace and harmony 
in the unhappy and distracted Territory. He told 
Brigham Young of the furore that the Southern 
Move, made by the whole population of Utah, had 
created in the East and in Europe. He laid before 
that leader of a hunted band of religionists copies 
of the "New York Times" and the "London 
Times," which contained bitter comments on this 
political blunder of the President of the United 
States. In closing his speech, he gave utterance 
to a manly appeal to Brigham Young to accept 
his pledges of security, and at once to take up his 
return march for Great Salt Lake City, saying: 

"There is no longer any danger, sir. General 
Johnston and the army will keep faith with the 
'Mormons.' Every one concerned with this happy 
settlement will keep faith and hold sacred the par- 
don and amnesty of the President of the United 
States. By , sir, yes." 



256 JOHN STEVENS' COURTSHIP 

"We know all about it, Governor. Our mem- 
ories are long. But we feel assured of your own 
integrity in this matter, and for that we grant you 
our fullest confidence and friendship." 

"Then, sir," said the kindly-disposed official, 
"tomorrow, being the birthday of our glorious 
country, the Fourth of July, I shall publish a 
proclamation to the 'Mormons' for them to return 
to their homes." 

"Do as you please, Governor Gumming," re- 
plied Brigham Young, with his quiet, shrewd 
smile. "Tomorrow I shall get upon the tongue of 
my wagon, and tell the people that I am going 
home, and that they can do as they please." 

And it was so. The next morning in the cool 
daybreak, the leader of the hosts of that modern 
Israel stood upon his wagon seat, and in the 
clarion tones so familiar to his people, he called: 

"To your tents, O Israel !" 

And once more, but this time with paeans of 
mingled sorrow and rejoicing and songs of praise 
not unmixed with anxious future forebodings, the 
people prepared to take up the line of march 
backward to the deserted homes, to the grass- 
grown streets of Salt Lake City and to the sun- 
dried farms and fields of the northern Valley. 
The Southern Move was passing into the annals 
of a deeply engraved history. 




XXVI 
COL. SAXEY EXPOSTULATES 

HE hurry, confusion and turmoil conse- 
quent upon packing were endured gladly 
by every one in Provo and vicinity, for 
every heart beat high with joy that their 
beloved lands and homes were not to be left be- 
hind once more and they themselves turned again 
into the desert, homeless and poor. 

Diantha rode to the city with her brother in his 
spring wagon. As she sat on the front seat, she 
was soon covered with dust, and with the loss of 
her pink and white complexion came an appreci- 
able decline in the thermometer of her generally 
sweet and cheerful disposition. No one ever ac- 
cused Diantha of vanity, but there was nothing 
which made my dainty lady so thoroughly an- 
noyed as to feel that she was looking ugly and 
commonplace ; and above all to know that she was 
disheveled, disorderly, or unclean; all of which 
goes to prove that all are of the earth, earthy. 

Ellen Tyler rode several teams behind Dian, in 
her father's wagon, the spring carriage being oc- 
cupied by other members of the family. Now, no 
matter how dusty the road nor how much at a dis- 
advantage dear little Ellen might be placed, if she 
were only treated lovingly and kindly by those 

17 



258 JOHN STEVENS' COURTSHIP 

she loved, and if she were sure of "one true heart 
beside her," as she herself put it, she was always 
cheerful and pleasant. And Ellen was in high 
feather, for John Stevens drove the wagon she was 
in, and the whole journey seemed more like a 
pleasure trip than a dusty two days' journey. 

The party were toiling up the long and steep 
grade to the north of the village of Lehi, and John 
was out of the wagon, walking beside his team, 
whistling occasionally to his horses, and some- 
times coming up to the wagon to hear the merry 
chatter of his companion. He had allowed him- 
self to get some distance behind his team when 
he saw, in a sudden turn of the road, a small party 
of horsemen coming towards them, and as the 
dust cleared away, he discovered they were sol- 
diers. He tried to hurry up so that he might be 
near or reach Ellen before they passed her, for 
instinct warned him that there was need, yet it 
was too late. As they passed him, he gazed at the 
dashing captain for it was Captain Sherwood, 
his own despised enemy to whom he gave a look 
of hate and repugnance. It was returned with a 
flash of sneering triumph. 

The gay captain had cause to be triumphant. 

As he passed by the long train of wagons, his 
eyes were eagerly searching each wagon for the 
two faces he had come out purposely to see. He 
hardly knew Diantha. He had seen her but once, 
and now the gold of her hair was a tawny clay, 



COL. SAXEY EXPOSTULATES 259 

and the tiny curls were stiff with dust; while the 
enchanting pink and white of her skin was lost in 
a deep, sun-flushed crimson, covered over with 
the dun dust of the valley road. 

As soon as he recognized her, however, and that 
only as they met face to face, he raised his cap 
with a courtly bow. 

Whether Diantha was a little afraid of her 
brother's instant anger, or whether she was moved 
by her own sense of right and propriety, or 
whether there was mingled with it all an indigna- 
tion that she had not been recognized because of 
her unprepossessing appearance, she herself never 
tried to fathom; but certain it was that my lady 
stiffened herself into an attitude of freezing hau- 
teur, visible through all her dusty disguises, and 
with a stony stare of her gleaming blue eyes, she 
coldly looked into the laughing black eyes bent 
upon her, and gave the soldier the cut direct. 

"I say, old chap, that young lady would give 
pointers to a New Orleans belle in giving a fellow 
his conge, but I should say she was not bad-look- 
ing when properly dressed." So spake a fellow 
officer as the two rode at the head of their squad. 
Captain Sherwood had urged his superior officer, 
Col. Saxey, to come along, as he had learned that 
this party were on the road, and he wanted his 
friend to see the two girls who had so taken his 
own fancy. 

Ellen saw them coming, and first looking dis- 



260 JOHN STEVENS' COURTSHIP 

erectly back to see that John was well out of 
sight, she gave the captain a laughing and apolo- 
getic smile, and then turned her head coquettishly 
aside, as the horsemen dashed by. 

"That girl is as pretty as the other, only in a 
different way," said Col. Saxey. "But I would ad- 
vise you, Sherwood, to let these women alone. 
You will make yourself and others a great deal of 
unnecessary trouble, and I can't see that it will 
do you or anyone else any good." 

"Oh, d n your advice, Saxey. What is life, 
anyway?" 

"Life," answered Col. Saxey to his friend Sher- 
wood, "is pretty much what we make it ; good, bad 
or indifferent. But, really, Sherwood, I wish you 
would take an old friend's advice, and let those 
'Mormon' women alone. You know these people 
are nearly wild with fear anyway, and I think it 
the height of folly for us to add to their discom- 
fiture." 

"I can't imagine how I am going to hurt any- 
body by falling in love with a pretty girl, and even 
marrying her, if worst comes to worst." 

"You know quite well, old fellow, you would 
never dream of marrying one of these uneducated, 
uncultured western girls; and when you remem- 
ber that she is of 'Mormon' stock; what an ab- 
surdity! Why, what do you think your proud 
family down in Louisiana would say to such a 
thing? Give it up, Clem; give it up." 



COL. SAXEY EXPOSTULATES 261 

"Say, Saxey," and the young officer turned and 
faced his companion, reining in his horse to a halt 
that he might look the other fairly in the eyes, "I 
want you to tell me what you and I or any of the 
rest of our fellows are going to do out here, thou- 
sands of miles from home and civilization? I say, 
what are we going to do? I certainly need the 
love and tenderness of a dear little woman, such as 
one of these girls." 

"I am more than surprised, Clem, to hear you 
speak so coolly of the ruin of a good, innocent 
girl. What can possess you?" 

"What can possess you, my virtuous friend? 
Where have you learned your lessons of life, if not 
in the school of experience? I must be in love 
with somebody, and lucky it is for me that I have 
such delightful material to waste a bit of my time 
and heart's affection upon. You see that I am re- 
fined enough to wish even my bacon to be of the 
choicest cut, and fricasseed to the most delicate 
brown, instead of fried in huge slices and served 
with chunks of bread." 

They were riding slowly on through the dust 
and heat, and the elder officer turned and looked 
keenly into the face of handsome Captain Sher- 
wood, who was stroking his small black mustache, 
and smiling at his inward fancies. 

"Sherwood," he said, at last, "I must confess 
that I have never in my life realized the full mean- 
ing of all you imply until this hour- Men allow 



262 JOHN STEVENS' COURTSHIP 

themselves to float down the current of custom 
and do and say many things which are, it seems 
to me, in my present mood, unmanly as well as 
impure. True, men of the world have always 
done the same things, and rarely stop to ask ques- 
tions in regard to the matter; but well, in fact, 
things look a little different now." 

"What has changed the current of your opinion, 
my wise friend?" 

"Something in the face of that haughty girl, as 
she looked her disdain to you, and the look of 
fierce hatred which that tall, red-bearded fellow 
gave you as he passed you, have set me to think- 
ing. Maybe we are as guilty of crime in hunting 
out these people as were the Roman soldiers when 
they burned the Christians at the stake." 

Sherwood gazed with more and more astonish- 
ment at the words of his friend, and at the close 
of the little, conscience-stricken speech, he burst 
into a hearty peal of laughter, and again and 
again he laughed as he recalled the absurdity of 
such a comparison. 

"You must excuse me, old boy, but it is too ut- 
terly funny for words. These adulterous, ignor- 
ant, impudent 'Mormons' to be compared to the 
ancient Christians? Ha, ha, ha!" 

The elder man winced a little under the fire of 
ridicule, but his own sense of right and honor told 
him his position was the true one, and he felt 
stealing over him a contempt and repugnance for 



COL. SAXEY EXPOSTULATES 263 

the man who could so recklessly plan the destruc- 
tion of innocent, helpless womanhood. 

The soldiers reached the outskirts of their own 
camp late that afternoon, and as Col. Saxey gazed 
at the crowded hive of huts and tents, filled with 
men, a few women, and many squaws, which com- 
posed the nondescript village just across the 
stream from Camp Floyd, he felt a sense of horror 
and dislike for all that this motley crowd signi- 
fied, which he had never before felt, and which 
was as surprising as it was new to him. 

Camp Floyd had been laid out with the care and 
skill which characterized all the labors of General 
Johnston. At the hillside lay the officers' quar- 
ters, while down the river a little lower were sta- 
tioned the quarters of the men, with the parade 
ground between. All the tents had been pitched 
on a low three-foot adobe foundation, thus giving 
some measure of comfort to their temporary struc- 
tures. Outside the camp, and across the bridge 
which spanned the small mountain stream, was a 
collection of rude log huts, one or two small adobe 
houses, and a great many tents of all sizes, all 
pitched on the low adobe walls. Here were gath- 
ered the usual camp followers, those who did the 
store-keeping, the washing, the ironing, the mak- 
ers and vendors of every commodity bought and 
sold in the camp. In this place all grades of camp- 
followers were sheltered. 

Men were there, some few decent and eager 



264 JOHN STEVENS' COURTSHIP 

only for the labor and exchange of money for 
that labor which came to them; others willing to 
buy and sell anything on earth which could be 
traded off. The most of them were drunken, 
carousing, miserable wretches, possessed of no 
impulse but that of a selfish and sensual gratifica- 
tion. Here a coarse woman, with a flaunting air 
and a ribald jest, passed through the throng, and 
there a squaw sat beside the road, her eyes red 
with the whisky she had sold herself for, and her 
face horrible with the soulless leer of savage, half- 
drunken invitation. 

A wave of horror passed over the sensitive face 
of Col. Saxey as this accustomed scene appeared 
to him for the first time in its true colors. He al- 
most hated himself that he was a man. Sherwood 
noticed nothing unusual, and as they passed a 
woman with a red scarf across her shoulder, he 
tossed her a coin, as he said lightly : 

"There is enough for two drunks, Liz, and 
don't try to run them both into one, either; for 
the last time you did that, you raised such a row 
that the Colonel threatened to have the whole 
place cleaned out." 

Louisiana Liz, as she was called, screamed 
back her thanks, and with her large, dark, but 
bleared and blood-shot eyes she flashed up at the 
young man her most fascinating gaze. 

Arrived at their own quarters, the officers were 



COL. SAXEY EXPOSTULATES 265 

met by an orderly, who instructed them to report 
at headquaters that evening. 

"I particularly request you gentlemen," said 
General Johnston, when they reported at his tent, 
"not so much in a military capacity, as in the 
name of decency and honor, to remain as much as 
possible in your own quarters, and to keep away 
from these 'Mormon' villages. As for the men, 
I wish you to deal severely with any of them who 
go far from camp; in fact I wish all to be done 
that can be done to keep down unnecessary ex- 
citement. You understand, gentlemen?" 

"I wonder if the gallant general imagines," said 
Sherwood, as they walked away from the general's 
tent, "that any one is going to obey strictly his or- 
ders and requests. Why," said he, as the two were 
returning to their own tents, "he is either very 
simple or else very tame if he expects either offi- 
cers or men are to be entirely restricted in mak- 
ing some sport out of this dead, dreary and ab- 
surd campaign." 

"I think the general is entirely right, Sherwood, 
and so far as I am concerned, I shall do what I can 
to carry out his orders; even to reporting de- 
linquents, officers as well as men," he added sig- 
nificantly, as he gave a quick glance at his com- 
panion. 

"Oh, well, 'catching comes before hanging,' is a 
true if a vulgar proverb, so I bid you a pleasant 
good-night." 



266 JOHN STEVENS' COURTSHIP 

As Captain Sherwood turned into his own tent, 
he was surprised to find a figure dimly outlined 
by the sputtering tallow candle, crouching near 
his bunk. 

"What on earth are you doing here, Liz? 
Don't you know it would mean severe punishment 
to you and disgrace to me, if you were found in- 
side these lines?" 

The half-breed Creole laughed with a low, 
sneering sound and answered softly: 

"Do you think I have forgotten all the lessons 
of my youth, learned in the silent swamps of our 
early Louisiana home? Fear not, the snake her- 
self is not more silent, nor the night-bird more 
swift in her flight than I. Fear not!" And she 
laughed again, with a quiet, mirthless chuckle. 



XXVII. 
CHRISTMAS EVE, 1858. 

T| HE days and weeks of the dry, brilliant 
I summer and autumn flew along with 
dusty, burnished wings. For some time 
the efforts of the commanding officer at 
Camp Floyd were measurably successful in re- 
straining undue intercourse between his men and 
the people of the neighboring settlements. 

In the city of Great Salt Lake the affairs of the 
people went on with much the same regularity 
and soberness that had always characterized them. 
Yet, underneath every act and word, one could 
feel the current of silent expectation and prepara- 
tion among this hunted people; expectation of 
anything sudden and vicious which the army of 
Utah might attempt to do ; and a consequent prep- 
aration for defense and perhaps war. There was 
a small reign of terror, at times, rampant in those 
whilom silent city streets. While the officers 
might hold their own men in check, they exercised 
no authority over the crowd of vile camp-follow- 
ers which sometimes swept up and over those 
city thoroughfares with a terrifying cloud of de- 
bauchery and crime. 

President Young was threatened continually in 



268 JOHN STEVENS' COURTSHIP 

divers ways; by anonymous letters; by wild and 
erratic apostates ; and he knew through reports of 
authorized agents that no effort would be spared 
by the district judges or the military force to put 
his freedom and his life in jeopardy. Around him, 
therefore, was gathered a trusty band of his brav- 
est and best friends ; and among them was found 
our good friend, John Stevens. His watch at the 
President's office came at night, and he was there- 
fore prevented from attending many of the parties 
and balls which still went on in every part of the 
city. Brigham Young knew his people too well to 
allow other and less innocent occupations to usurp 
the place of the dance and amateur theater. 

On Christmas eve, 1858, there was to be a mag- 
nificent ball given in the fine, new Social Hall. Oh, 
the blessed memories clinging around that dear 
old hall! What scenes of enjoyment, and frolic, 
sweet and pure, have been celebrated within its 
gray walls! What hearts have met their fate, 
what lips have spoken the words of love eternal, 
while mingling in the happy dance old and 
young, rich and poor! No class distinctions ever 
marred the festivities of that generous place ! No 
separation of old folks from the young ever jarred 
upon the spirit of mutual love and confidence 
which marked the social intercourse of the Saints. 
And what wonderful plays were enacted by that 
remarkable company of players, headed by Hiram 
Clawson, John T. Caine, James Ferguson and Mrs. 



CHRISTMAS EVE, 1858 269 

Wheelock and Mrs. Gibson ! Dear are these pre- 
cious memories to the children of the pioneers ; for 
within these walls they learned, through definite 
object lessons, that religion was not merely a Sab- 
bath affair, put on as a cloak ! Ah, no ; it entered 
into the very center of pulsating life and emotion, 
and was a living entity in the innocent, religious 
pleasures, as well as the simple, trustful sorrows 
of this blessed people ! 

"I am going to bring my dress over to your 
house, Dian," said Ellen Tyler, early that Christ- 
mas eve, "and get ready with you, for I want you 
to fix my hair ; you have such lovely taste. I never 
look so well as when you arrange my hair and 
dress. And then I can get the use of your look- 
ing-glass, too." 

Ellen did look lovely. She had a new pink print 
dress, and print dresses in those days were as su- 
perior to the common calicoes of today, as are the 
prices of today less than were those early stand- 
ards of values. The skirt was made with dainty, 
flying ruffles, nearly to the waist, and edged with 
the prettiest of hand-crocheted lace; while the 
waist, full and gathered into the belt, was fitted 
with billowy sleeves of bishop shape. At the belt 
and near the left shoulder were flying bows of 
pink ribbon ; while peeping behind the right ear, a 
tiny bow of pink made the chestnut brown hair 
richer for its suggestive contrast. 

"Ellie, dear, you look just like one of Aunt 



270 JOHN STEVENS' COURTSHIP 

Clara's spice pinks! I never saw you look so 
lovely. I could hug you myself for very admira- 
tion." 

Dian stood afar off from her friend admiring her, 
and approaching Ellen at last, she bestowed upon 
the soft, pale cheek, a small pinch, to give the 
delicate tint needed to complete the exquisite pic- 
ture. 

"Well, it's no use telling you how you look, 
Dian, for I am sure you know it so well yourself ; 
the fact of your own magnificent charm is so ap- 
parent that it is nonsense for anyone to try and 
natter you." 

"Are you making fun of me, Ellie?" queried 
Diantha, as she turned around from the tiny look- 
ing-glass to ask her question.. "I know well 
enough that I have a passably good form, and 
that I do have some taste in dressing myself ; but 
I hate these ugly red cheeks, and would give 
anything in this world for your clear, pale com- 
plexion." 

The girl looked with a positive gleam of anger 
in her flashing blue eyes at the image of herself 
reflected in the glass, and muttered as she pre- 
tended to pinch her own rose-tinted cheeks : "Oh, 
you ugly, scarlet things, how I hate you !" 

"It makes me unhappy, Dian, to hear you call 
yourself ugly. You know God has blessed you 
with rare gifts of face and form, and you ought 
not to speak as you do, let alone feeling so wicked 



271 



about your red cheeks. They are lovely to me. 
They always make me feel as if I would like to 
take a bite out of them, as I would from a red 
June apple." 

Dian was almost in tears now, at such a home- 
ly, unpoetic comparison, and her friend hastened 
to change the conversation. 

"Say, Dian, do you think John Stevens can get 
off tonight to come down to the ball? I feel as if 
half of my fun would be gone without him." 

"Oh, I don't know, I am sure. I haven't seen 
John for weeks. He is up at the President's office 
night arid day, I guess." 

"Well, I will have to content myself with Tom 
Allen, or Brother Leon, I guess, for I must have 
some fun with somebody. I am just wild for a 
frolic. I can hardly wait for Tom to come, I 
want so much to get to the party." 

The girl was indeed full of the vitality of youth 
and health, and her pulse danced and tingled with 
expectant pleasure. She was young, lovely and 
loving, and she longed for love and admiration. 
Who could blame her? 



XXVIII 
THE BALL IN THE SOCIAL HALL 



A 



RRIVED at the hall, the girls left their 
escorts at the door, and hurried into the 
crowded dressing room under the stage. 
What hand-shakings and laughing ex- 
change of greetings they found there! What 
merry peals of gentle laughter! What garrulous 
exchanges of confidences as to the causes and ef- 
fects of the day's labors and pleasures, were 
buzzing in the two low-ceiled, square dressing 
rooms that happy night! 

Up from the basement came the fragrant odor 
of baking meats, and delicious pastry. A small 
army of cooks was busy preparing the elaborate 
supper; for this was one of the good old-time 
parties, for which the tickets cost five dollars in 
scrip or produce, or less in cash; and the guests 
came at early dusk, and after dancing for three or 
four hours, were served at the loaded tables in the 
basement,with the luxuries and delicacies of moui*- 
tain food and mountain cooking; after eating 
heartily of the supper, all were ready then for 
the dance to be renewed until the early morning 
hours; at any time, however, the merry-makers 
were glad to cease from the gay quadrilles, and 



THE BALL IN THE SOCIAL HALL 273 

listen to the wise counsel or appropriate remarks 
made, perchance, by the Presidency of the Church 
or other good speakers, who were ever the mer- 
riest and best dancers in the room. At these in- 
nocent revelries also, there was a grateful lack of 
unholy passions and impure thoughts and words 
begotten by the too frequent round dancing of 
novel-reading youths. 

"Did you ever, in your life, see Diantha and El- 
lie look so pretty?" asked more than one unselfish 
mother, as the two girls came up the little stair- 
way from the dressing room, into the main hall, 
followed by their cavaliers. 

Diantha was entrancing in her simple, straight- 
skirted, pale-blue slip for she scorned the bal- 
loon-like hoops of the day with no ornament 
save the pale gold masses of her luminous hair, 
and the rich pink and white of her unappreciated 
but glorious complexion. She herself disliked 
her chief charm, the warm, rich coloring, which 
gave so much glowing life and fascinating vitality 
to the otherwise somewhat cold expression and 
haughty air. 

Both the girls danced with the lightest grace 
and the keenest enjoyment, and each was besieged 
with partners, for both were recognized belles in 
their own circle. Ellen Tyler watched and waited 
in vain for the appearance of her beloved friend, 
John Stevens. She had never heard a word of 
love from his lips; indeed, she had never given 

18 



274 JOHN STEVENS' COURTSHIP 

him direct encouragement to offer such words; 
but she knew that, with a little insistence on his 
part, she could pour out to him the wealth of her 
young heart. And with all her swarm of admir- 
ers, she was unsatisfied, and yearning for the love 
that had never been offered her. Yet she was too 
sweet and womanly to think for a moment of 
showing more interest in any man than his own 
interest in her justified. And so she waited and 
watched, trying to dance always in the set nearest 
the stairway which led to the outer north entrance 
of the hall. 

She was not particularly surprised when a 
small boy came up to her and whispered that a 
gentleman outside wished to speak to her for a 
moment. 

"Oh," she murmured in her heart, "it must be 
John." 

She threw a shawl around her in passing the 
dressing room, and followed the boy outside. She 
saw no one when she got in the deserted doorway 
and was about to turn around and go back to the 
hall, for the lane looked very dark and forbidding 
at that late hour. 

Just as she turned, a man with a dark cloak en- 
veloping his whole form stepped out from the 
east corner of the building and, with a low bow, 
said softly : 

"Forgive me, Miss Tyler, but the sight of 
heaven tempted my to try and draw out the angel, 



THE BALL IN THE SOCIAL HALL 275 

if but for one moment. I am lonesome, a stranger, 
and full of longing for the acquaintance of a sweet 
woman, be she sister or friend." 

Ellen recognized the voice of her soldier ac- 
quaintance, and she involuntarily shrank back 
from him. 

"Do not shrink from me, dear, sweet, gentle 
spirit. I am but a lonely, unhappy man, so near 
to a paradise of laughter, love and music, and yet 
unable to partake of one single element of all the 
glory that I see. You remember, even the angels 
are not ashamed to pity." 

Just then someone came into the lane from the 
sidewalk, and Ellen hurriedly moved away to en- 
ter the deep doorway. As she turned, she felt a 
note thrust into her hand and then she was once 
more inside the safe precincts of the lighted, noisy 
building, and she put the note deep down into her 
pocket for future reference. 

When she once more made her way into the 
dancing hall, she was surprised to find John Ste- 
vens dancing on the floor, and with no less a per- 
son than her dear friend Diantha. She wondered 
how she had missed him, but reflected that he 
must have come in while she was in the dressing 
room hunting her shawl. 

"He will soon come to me," she whispered to 
herself, and waited impatiently for that coming. 

But he did not come. Diantha and he danced 
together the first time and the second and the 



276 JOHN STEVENS' COURTSHIP 

third time, and as Ellen had refused to dance, and 
was sitting on the side benches, she could easily 
follow them as the couple moved through the 
mazes of the quadrille and reel. Diantha's cheeks 
were glowing, and her eyes looked like blazing 
stars in the azure blue, while her lips were like 
the red balls on the winter wild rose bushes. And 
Ellen's sharp eyes noted that Diantha was not 
now wearing Charlie's ring. What was happen- 
ing? Dian floated round with a rythmical grace 
that was always so witching an accomplishment 
of her queenly beauty. Ellen watched and lis- 
tened. She was too shrewd not to detect some 
meaning beneath all this throbbing excitement, 
and she knew that there was more than the usual 
effort to fascinate, in the manner of her friend 
Dian. 

As for John, he seemed almost another man. 
Talk about blazing eyes; his almost burned into 
flame as he kept his intense gaze fastened upon 
the uplifted glances of his companion. He said 
little; Ellen could see that; but his look and his 
manner as he came near his dancing partner be- 
trayed his whole secret. It was for the first time, 
too, for never before had he received such open, 
such undisguised encouragement from the girl be- 
side him. 

"John never looked at me like that," whispered 
Ellen in her own heart, "never, never!" 

The two dancers were so absorbed in each oth- 



er that they gave no heed whatever to anyone 
about them, and so it came to pass that the brief 
space of time spent by John in that eventful ball 
was spent wholly in the society of Diantha. 

Ellen's enjoyment was all over. She felt nothing 
but a thrill of jealous regret, mingled with a pas- 
sionate wish for another love to prove to John 
Stevens that she, too, could be sought and she 
felt as well an intense desire for the love itself. She 
was such a tender, clinging nature, physical love 
to her was not an incident, it was life itself. 

When she was safely at home she opened her 
note and by the light of her tallow candle, she 
read: 

"My Dear Young Friend: 

"I trust you will pardon the seeming forwardness of 
this letter. Yours is such a gentle, forgiving nature, 
that you can but excuse, especially when you know that 
the act is prompted by as deep an affection and as earn- 
est an admiration as could be bestowed by the heart of 
a man. I am heartsick and alone. I find myself filled 
with a love which is as hopeless as it is passionate; 
will you not let me at least have the mournful pleasure 
of expressing that love, although I know too well its 
hopeless character? You are so good, so pure that it 
cannot hurt you to become the one star of peace in a 
stranger's dark horizon. I would offer you all the love, 
protection and devotion usual to my walk in life, if I 
knew that I dared. 

"At least, let me have the opportunity of telling you, 
once for all, the love that fills my whole being for the 
angel who saved my life at the risk of the anger and 



278 JOHN STEVENS' COURTSHIP 

ostracism of her own people. Will you not meet me for 
a few happy, happy moments while I tell you of my 
friendship and esteem? I will be on the northeast cor- 
ner of the block on which you live, with a sleigh, to- 
morrow evening after nine o'clock. If you wear a white 
scarf over your head I shall see you in the distance, and 
know you are coming. 
"I am forever your hopeless, despairing 

"LOVER." 

The note was written on heavy cream-tinted 
paper. It bore a beautiful crest or monogram in 
one corner, and it was sealed delicately with pink 
sealing-wax, stamped with a signet ring, which 
bore the device of some ancient French noble- 
man, and it was filled with a delicious ^erfumery, 
the odor of which floated around her like a visible 
presence. Ellen felt in her inmost soul that she 
should at once destroy this letter, and go to Aunt 
Clara with her whole secret; but it was such an 
entrancing letter! And John Stevens had flouted 
her so cruelly. No! She would keep the letter 
just to read it again ! And then Ellen gave her- 
self over to vague, delirious day-dreams. 



XXIX 
DIANTHA'S SUDDEN AWAKENING 

aHREE weeks after the ball in the Social 
Hall, the two girls were at a rag-bee at 
Aunt Clara Tyler's. There was the usual 
light gossip, and jolly laughter, and as 
was always the case at Aunt Clara's home, every- 
body felt unusually kind and pleasant. Aunt 
Clara had the faculty of making everybody feel 
desirous of doing and saying the best that was in 
them. ^ 

"Did you hear that Tom Allen and his girl are 
to be married at last?" asked Sister Hattie Jones, 
who was busily threading her needle. 

"You don't mean it?" answered Rachel Win- 
throp. "I really thought he was going to 'play 
off' on her and marry Ellie." 

"I don't know how you could think that, Aunt 
Rachel," said Ellen, a trifle sharply ; "I have never 
had the least notion of trying to cut Luna out, and 
my friendship for Tom was of the most platonic 
nature, I assure you." 

Mrs. Jones saw she had made a mistake, and 
to cover her confusion, she began on another sub- 
ject. 

"Our Mark says that these soldiers are getting 



280 JOHN STEVENS' COURTSHIP 

pretty impudent around here. He says he has 
seen an officer riding around this ward in a sleigh 
every night for the last three weeks. And he says, 
top, that this stranger had one of our girls with 
him, for he saw her get out one night, and he de- 
clares it is one of the girls in our ward. But he 
won't tell who ; he is going to get a better look at 
the girl, he says, before he tells anyone who it is. 
I declare I don't see what our silly girls are think- 
ing of, to run around with these soldiers, who 
will ruin them as quick as a wink, and then if they 
felt like it, they would shoot 'em besides." 

Diantha looked in quick surprise at Ellen, the 
moment this story began, and she saw with in- 
finite alarm the sudden flush which spread over 
her friend's usually pale cheek ; and with the quick 
intuition of love, she divined that Ellen was the 
guilty girl. What on earth could she do? The 
talk drifted on and on, and Diantha listened and 
kept her intent, loving gaze fixed upon the droop- 
ing eyes of her beloved friend. The two girls 
cleaned up the supper dishes. Ellen talked with 
rapid garrulity, as if to prevent a single word 
being said by her companion. At last, when 
bedtime came, Diantha said, as calmly and as in- 
differently as she could : 

"I believe I'll stay all night with you, Ellie 
darling, for Aunt Clara is going out again tonight, 
she says, to nurse the sick; she has to go out so 
much, doesn't she? But what would we do with- 



DIANTHA'S SUDDEN AWAKENING 281 

out Aunt Clara? She is a whole Relief Society 
of herself, isn't she? You and I haven't had a 
good talk since Christmas." 

"Well, all right. But," the girl added hesitat- 
ingly, "I'm afraid we'll have to sleep three in a 
bed, for Aunt Clara has sent Cousin Alice to sleep 
with me tonight." 

"Never mind," cheerfully responded Diantha, 
resolved not to be balked in her endeavor to know 
more about her friend's walks and ways; "I can 
easily do that, for I often have extra company, 
and you and I don't mind crowding a bit." 

The girls hurried up to their room, soon after 
the evening prayers were over, and Diantha 
looked in vain for a third bedfellow. But she re- 
frained from asking where the invisible Alice was, 
for she instinctively felt that Ellen had lied to her 
to make an excuse to prevent the talk Diantha had 
resolved to have with her friend. Dian was a wise 
girl, and she felt instinctively that it would not be 
prudent to urge herself upon her friend's confi- 
dence. So she chatted on other topics, and they 
were soon undressed and in bed. For some rea- 
son, Dian felt unusually wakeful, and she lay for 
a long time awake, with a curious feeling, a sort 
of expectancy of something, or somebody, which 
made the chills of uncomfortable fear race up and 
down her back. But at last she fell asleep, trying 
dimly to account for her strange sensations, and 
wondering vaguely who was coming. Sometime 



282 JOHN STEVENS' COURTSHIP 

in the night she awoke, half-startled, and in a mo- 
ment she was conscious, wide awake, and in per- 
fect control of her faculties. It was the com- 
plete instant wakefulness which comes to mothers 
with sick children, or to men who watch their 
homes and loved ones in times of danger! She 
wondered for one brief instant why she was not 
in her own room, and then it flashed over her. 
She reached out her hand, and although she was 
in some way curiously prepared for it, she found 
her companion not at her side, and she felt all the 
shock of surprised dread which that discovery 
would necessarily entail. She lay still a moment, 
trying to persuade herself that Ellen had gone 
down stairs for a drink, or that she had gone into 
Aunt Clara's room, for some purpose, and at last 
she called out softly: 

"Ellie, Ellie, dear!" 

No answer came, and she was about to get up 
and find a light, when she heard the front door 
open, and directly after, the sound of hurried, 
muffled footsteps running up the stairs to her 
room, and she knew instinctively who it was. 

"Ellen?" she said at once, as soon as the door 
opened. 

"Yes," came the breathless answer, from out the 
darkness. 

"Where have you been?" was Dian's rather 
stern question. 



DIANTHA'S SUDDEN AWAKENING 283 

"Down stairs after some oil. I have a sore 
throat." 

That was the second lie her friend had told her 
that night. Dian knew it would be useless to try 
to learn anything further, for more questions 
would only bring more lies, and she dreaded to 
hear another. It hurt her that her beloved Ellen 
should feel it possible to tell lies to anyone or for 
any purpose. 

Dian could hear in the darkness the swift mo- 
tions of the girl unrobing, and she rashly tried 
another question: 

"What on earth did you dress for, Ellie, just to 
go down stairs after oil?" 

"Would you like to run all over the house such 
a bitter cold night as this without any clothes 
on?" sharply asked Ellen. 

Dian lay still after that, realizing how hopeless 
it was to think of probing the confidence of the 
girl she had driven away from her by her ab- 
stractions and neglect. 

Dian's thoughts were bitter and remorseful. 
She could see now how at times she had paid lit- 
tle attention to the affectionate girl by her side, 
and how often she had allowed their confidences 
to remain unspoken when she herself was ab- 
sorbed in some more congenial pursuit. She saw, 
too, her own thoughtless selfishness was it self- 
ishness? Dian was loath to admit that it was 
selfishness on her part which had driven Ellen to 



284 JOHN STEVENS' COURTSHIP 

seek for friendship and confidence where it was 
given more freely. Was she, Dian, really selfish? 
Or was she just self-absorbed? And which was 
which? Whichever it might be, Dian felt she 
could never again be so self-centered. She must 
think of others more, and of her own life less. As 
to who had gained this confidence, even Dian 
dared not think. Neither of the girls could sleep, 
both were too agitated for repose. But neither 
felt to break the strained silence between them. 

"I heard today at the rag-bee, Ellen," said 
Dian at last, gently, "that John Stevens was com- 
ing home from that trip into the north country. 
If he is here tomorrow night, we will have him 
over to our house, and have a candy-pulling." 

"You'd better have him all to yourself, Diantha, 
for that will please both of you, and I guess it will 
hurt nobody else." 

Ellen spoke in so low and bitter a tone, that 
Dian felt unable to say anything more until she 
had fathomed the reason for such anger. 

"What has John, or what have I done that you 
should speak like that, Ellie?" 

"Done? Done nothing, I guess!" still bitterly. 
"But it didn't take any smartness or particular 
discernment to see what was going on between 
you two at the Christmas ball. I can see as far 
through a mill-stone as anyone else, as your sis- 
ter-in-law Rachel says." 

Diantha was silenced. 



DIANTHA'S SUDDEN AWAKENING 285 

What could it mean ; Ellen Tyler sarcastic, bit- 
ter, and deceitful? What did it all mean? Di- 
antha lay quite still, but she could not sleep. Her 
past life and her own faults came before her with 
startling vividness and she felt that in some re- 
spects she had been a sorry failure. She hated 
herself for all the thoughtless disregard for other 
people's feelings which had at times hurt her best 
friends. And she knew, too, that within herself 
there lay a wealth of devoted self-sacrifice at the 
roots of her soul. Life was at last assuming an 
impersonal attitude to this awakening heart. 

What about Ellen? One thing Dian knew, and 
that was that Ellen had really liked John Stevens, 
and what did her bitter anger and her sarcasm 
at herself mean? She concluded that Ellen was 
jealous of her. Jealous ! jealous of her, Diantha ! 
What, then? What had she done to make her 
jealous? To think that they two should be at 
loggerheads over big, silent John Stevens! She 
herself had always openly declared that she never 
could love a red-bearded man. Well, John's hair 
was fine and wavy and it was rich brown, any 
one could see that. But his long silken beard ! As 
she thought about it, it really seemed to her to be 
not so bad either. The heroes in the few novels 
and theaters she had read and witnessed all had 
mustaches, silken mustaches. None of them were 
pictured with long beards. That was for old men 
and farmers. However, there was something har- 



286 JOHN STEVENS' COURTSHIP 

monious in the long beard of the tall, silent John 
Stevens. As she reached this point, the girl beside 
her sighed a deep, heavy, heart-sad sigh, which 
struck Dian as very unusual, especially with 
sunny Ellen Tyler. 

What was Ellen sighing for? Oh, yes, she 
was jealous of her and John Stevens. Well, what 
would she, Diantha, do about it? She resented 
the suggestion which came into her mind, that 
she would show forth fruits meet for repentance 
for all her past selfishness by now being supreme- 
ly unselfish, and giving up every hope of John 
Stevens. Then there flashed into her mind the at- 
tentions which that wicked soldier had been pay- 
ing on the sly to Ellen ; and now that she thought 
of it, why, of course that was where Ellen had 
been that night. And that was the reason that she 
herself had felt so strangely when she awoke. 
Ellen was in danger, and the inspiration of the 
Spirit and her natural instinct had warned her of 
her friend's danger. Ellen had been out with 
him! Now that she was in possession of the 
whole fearful secret what should she do? 

Another deep sigh by her side made Dian turn 
swiftly over, and putting her arms around the girl, 
she drew her to her and as Ellen burst into a fit of 
passionate weeping, Diantha stroked her hair and 
soothed her without asking questions or attempt- 
ing to pry into the confidence of the sobbing girl. 
Diantha knew that forced confidence is neither 



DIANTHA'S SUDDEN AWAKENING 287 

full nor satisfactory. Ellen sobbed herself to 
sleep, after which Diantha did some very serious 
thinking. She made her decision at last, and then 
with a deep sigh from her own heart, she fell into 
a broken, restless sleep, which morning broke with 
a glad release. 

What that resolve was, was shadowed forth in 
her next meeting with John Stevens. 




XXX 

DIAN IS TRUE TO HER RESOLVE 

T happened that when she came out of 
her home to attend her Sabbath services 
the next Sunday, she found tall, silent 
John Stevens on her doorstep, with a pe- 
culiar look in his eyes and a very fine new suit 
of homespun gray clothing his tall form. 

"Oh," she gasped. Then as with a sudden im- 
pulse, "Come on, I am going to get Ellie as I go 
along. She must go to meeting with us this morn- 
ing." 

Now, as John had not seen Diantha since the 
memorable ball, and as he had certainly expected 
to get a greeting all his own without the mention 
of anybody else, he saw occasion to be very much 
surprised, if not a little annoyed. But as usual 
he said nothing, and they walked along, Diantha 
laughing with a quick, metallic sound, as if she 
were very happy or as if she were trying to con- 
ceal some undercurrent of emotion. John chose 
to interpret her looks and her manner to mean a 
rebuff to him, but he was slow to anger, and not 
easily disconcerted, so they strode merrily along 
the frozen path. 

Ellen was very much surprised to see them 



DIAN IS TRUE TO HER RESOLVE 289 

enter her door, and she refused at first to go with 
them to church, as she had not made ready there- 
for, nor did she care to go. Diantha would not 
hear any excuses, and carried Ellen upstairs, to 
prepare hurriedly for the services. 

As they approached the old but then new 
Tabernacle in the southwest corner of the Temple 
block, they could hear the organ's strains, accom- 
panied by the united voices of the choir, as they 
sang the opening hymn. They were too late to 
enter till after the prayer, and so they stood out- 
side on the step, and, as they stood there, they 
saw several officers approaching the door as if to 
enter the sacred building. 

John at once stepped up to them and inquired 
casually : 

"Can I be of any service to you, gentlemen?" 

"We wish to attend your divine service this 
morning," replied Colonel Saxey, "and we presume 
it will not be offensive, as we wish merely to 
listen to your beautiful choir, of which we have 
heard so many complimentary things." 

"Certainly, sir, you will be welcome." But out 
of John's eyes there flashed a gleam of hatred and 
suspicion toward one of the officers who lingered 
in the background. It was none other than Cap- 
tain Sherwood. Sherwood caught the look and at 
once was on his guard ; with consummate skill he 
directed his glances and his whole attention to Di- 
antha. She returned his looks of admiration with 

19 



m JOHN STEVENS' COURTSHIP 

cold, proud contempt, and she even went so far 
as to force herself between him and Ellen as they 
all passed up the aisle. 

John saw Captain Sherwood cast glances of 
admiration towards Diantha Winthrop, and he 
saw, too, that she forced herself in between Ellen 
and Sherwood, but he failed to see the expres- 
sion on Diantha's face. What wonder, then, that 
he drew a wrong conclusion? After this, his whole 
thought was centered upon watching the soldier, 
and he heard nothing of the eloquent sermon 
preached by Elder Heber C. Kimball. And very 
little did he hear of the really fine singing by 
the splendid choir of fifty voices led by Prof. C. J. 
Thomas, accompanied as it was by the tender, 
tuneful playing of that most beautiful and accom- 
plished of all President Young's pretty daughters, 
Fanny Young. 

Before the services were half over the offi- 
cers withdrew, and John quietly took up his hat 
and followed them out. He never lost sight of 
them until they were mounted on their horses and 
well out of town. John wondered what they had 
come to town for, but he was sure of one thing, 
and that was that Diantha Winthrop had once 
more changed her fickle mind. Well, John was as 
proud as he was silent, and he stroked his beard 
with long, gentle passes, as he reflected upon life 
and its uncertain meaning for him. 

The weeks flew by, filled with excitement, par- 



DIAN IS TRUE TO HER RESOLVE 291 

ties, false rumors of danger, and then again a few 
days' quiet would give the city a needed rest and 
comparative peace. 

Diantha kept so firmly to her resolve that John 
Stevens could not secure her hand, even for a 
quadrille at a dance, as she was always just en- 
gaged. She would not allow him to speak to her 
one moment in private, and this so successfully 
turned his attention to Ellen Tyler that she 
breathed freely and felt that the sacrifice had been 
accepted and that her friend was saved. 



XXXI 

JOHN ALSO RESOLVES 

a HE early spring had begun to clothe the 
towering mountain steeps with spotted 
robes of brown, gray and green ; over the 
distant summits, the fleecy wind-clouds 
were torn and draggled as they trailed their white 
skirts across the sharp edges of the mountain 
tops. Out on the hills peeped the lovely rare 
bulb that the pioneer children called "sego-lily," 
and here and there nestled the early, pink star 
they called "Sweet Williams ;" and rarer still, the 
tall, intensely blue bulbous flower that was known 
as "the blue-bell," hid its precious beauty be- 
neath the gray walls of its shrubby friend the 
sage brush. Everywhere the sego lily nodded 
with its golden brown heart and its delicate, pout- 
ing lips of creamy white ; while children ran and 
laughed and quarreled as they dug the mellow, 
luscious root they called in the Indian tongue, 
"segoes." 

Boys began to drive the sheep from the valley 
winter quarters to the bunch-grass covered hills 
above; the herdsman took possession of his 
mountain hut beside the cold, moss-covered 
spring, perched high up in the tiny valleys of the 
upper mountain peaks. Out on the hills was heard 
the tinkling bell of the sheep, and the call of the 



JOHN ALSO RESOLVES 293 

herders echoed from peak to peak as they drove 
their hungry flocks through the upper vales. The 
low, dark green pastures on the marshy lands be- 
gan to throw up their mellow juices into feathery 
wild oat stems, or filled the reedy grass with thin 
nectar for the few and very choice cows that 
waded around with slow pleasure in the Jordan 
meadows. 

Down by the Jordan's banks the boys watched 
the cows through the early spring days, occasion- 
ally plunging into the cool water for a quick swim, 
longing for the hot summer days when hours 
could be spent in the water of the treacherous 
stream. Here and there a stray fisherman threw 
his rude line into the stream and occasionally 
caught a mountain trout, the speckled beauty glis- 
tening like silver as he threw it upon the bank. 
At break of day, the husbandman and who was 
not a husbandman in those early pioneer times in 
these valleys? drove his team afield not in the 
mellow soil known to the home he had left in the 
East, but in the hard, uncultivated earth of cen- 
turies of sun-baked, rainless summers, down in 
the bosom of the barren valleys. He dug out the 
tall, gray-spiked sage brush and huge, flaunting 
sunflowers, and everywhere he trenched his land 
in regular lines to train down upon it the cooling 
streams which gave life and fertility to the oth- 
erwise hopeless soil. 

The first days of April brought the annual Con- 



294 JOHN STEVENS' COURTSHIP 

ference, and everyone in Utah laid aside work and 
prepared to attend the great three days' meeting. 
Men in the city brought into their homes great 
stores of flour and food to feed the visitors who 
would tarry with them during the Conference. 
Women cooked meats and pastry, washed and 
ironed sheets and quilts and filled the extra straw 
ticks to make temporary beds in every spare cor- 
ner to accommodate their usual country visitors. 

For many miles on all the country roads could 
be seen teams of all descriptions wending their 
way to Conference. A few horses, some mules, 
and often great ox-teams plodded their way city- 
ward. Men, women and little children cheerfully 
left their homes and comforts to take chances of 
any kind of hospitality for the privilege of attend- 
ing the prized semi-annual religious services. 

The yard of the Tithing office was filled with 
visiting teams and wagons of every description, 
and busy women prepared food and comfort for 
the hungry multitude gathered there. Children 
ran about, playing at hide-and-seek, or chased 
each other over the ground amid wheels and 
wagon tongues, grouped about in semi-confusion. 

It was rather a cold and damp time, therefore 
the Tabernacle was well warmed for the people 
gathered in happy groups for this Friday morn- 
ing. What exchanges of greetings were there as 
brother met brother and sister greeted sister! 
Months, perhaps years had elapsed since they had 



JOHN ALSO RESOLVES 295 

seen each other. Here was a family just come 
over from the "old country" standing up between 
the benches to greet the throng which crowded 
about them to shake their hands, for they had 
been good to the "elders" in England, and every 
elder wanted to take them by the hand and intro- 
duce them to his family. How quaint the old 
English pronunciation sounded on those newly 
imported English tongues, and how queer the 
children looked with their little bare, red arms, 
and their low, broad-toed shoes and white "pin- 
afores," and how it made the Utah children laugh 
and stare to be told by these recent importations 
to "give over now, give over;" and how the eld- 
er" would smile as the jolly mother of the new 
arrival would recall his words and ways while 
amongst them; and how his merry eyes would 
sadden and fill with tears as he heard the story of 
"our Mary who had died," or, far worse, per- 
chance, had apostatized in spite of all teachings, 
and who had been left behind to her own back- 
sliding ways! What great slaps were bestowed 
upon broad backs as Brother So-and-So came up 
behind Brother What's-His-Name and thus an- 
nounced his pleasure at greeting his old-time 
friend ! 

As John Stevens entered the well-warmed and 
cosy building, a few minutes before the meeting 
was called to order, his eye involuntarily became 
brighter in sympathy with the merry confusion 



296 JOHN STEVENS' COURTSHIP 

and bustle which he witnessed all around him. 
Everybody was standing up and talking to every- 
body else, while on the distant "stand" the elders 
were indulging in the same friendly and informal 
greetings. Crops, the weather, babies, death, mar- 
riage, sermons, soldiers, war, the millennium, new 
homespun coats, the possible advent of a woolen 
mill in the Teritory, carpet looms, shoe lasts, 
prospective sawmills, and the best recipe for cook- 
ing dried service-berries, all these topics buzzed 
in endless variety and confusion around the well- 
filled hall. 

But hark! all eyes are turned to the stand, as 
Brigham Young is heard calling the people to 
come "to order," and instantly all voices are 
stilled ; the groups at once settle down into regu- 
larity, and the thoughts of the congregation are 
fixed upon the words of the heartfelt opening 
prayer of Elder Chas. C. Rich. 

As the choir began its second hymn, John 
turned in his seat to see if Diantha and Ellen were 
in their seats in the choir. Yes, Diantha stood 
there with her lovely form clad in its classical, 
simple gown of homespun, fitting her like a 
molded glove, while the glorious eyes and scarlet 
lips were as beautiful as ever. He looked at her 
so long, and as she was unconscious of his gaze, 
so earnestly, that he forgot to look for Ellen. 

After the hymn was over, however, he remem- 
bered Ellen and he soon saw that her place among 



JOHN ALSO RESOLVES 297 

the altos was vacant. Where was Ellen? he won- 
dered ; she was always at meeting. 

John addressed to himself some very severe 
reflections, and as his mind left his own affairs 
and became partly absorbed in the sermon which 
Elder Orson Hyde was preaching, he gradual- 
ly became conscious that he had formed a resolu- 
tion. That resolution was to forget Diantha Win- 
throp as speedily as possible. 

Now, this was a thing which John had never 
before contemplated. In all his past associations 
with the girl, no matter what coldness, neglect or 
discouragements he had experienced, he had never 
for one moment despaired of some day winning 
her for his wife. He knew intuitively something 
of human nature, and besides that he had felt in 
the depths of his own soul a whispering assurance 
that the girl belonged to him, and that his claim 
to her was one which had existed before they 
came to this earth. Therefore he had quietly 
gone along, never seeking to urge himself or his 
attentions upon her nor indeed upon any girl ; he 
had concealed from her as from everyone else the 
secret of his preference, and he had lived for years 
with the hope in his heart which made his daily 
sunshine and sweetened his every night vision. 
Yet now, with awakened consciousness on his 
part, he found himself forming an invincible res- 
olution never again to permit his thoughts or his 
love to go out to this girl who had given him at 



298 JOHN STEVENS' COURTSHIP 

one time plain encouragement, and who had since, 
for no reason whatever, turned upon him a colder, 
prouder face than she had ever done in the old 
days before she had guessed his secret. 

He sought, with the old Puritanic inheritance 
of self-investigation, to fathom the cause of this 
resolution. He found his mind distracted from the 
sermon which had been so interesting, and invol- 
untarily he turned around to look at Dian herself 
to see what expression she had now upon her face, 
and to see if perchance her looks might have had 
something to do with this strange decision. She 
looked as serene, as unconscious, as a statue. Her 
face looked slightly weary, as if she, too, had lost 
interest in the sermon, and her thoughts were on 
something else. But she did not look at John, and 
even if she knew where he sat, she seemed to 
avoid meeting his eyes. 

As John's gaze left her witching face, and his 
eyes traveled over the choir seats, he observed El- 
lie's vacant seat, and he felt suddenly that Ellie 
had something to do with this decision. What 
and how did Ellie effect this? John was not an 
impulsive man, his thoughts were deep and rather 
slow in forming. He allowed his mind to play 
upon this thought which had come to him, and it 
seemed to him that a veritable inspiration flashed 
upon him that Ellie was in danger, and that she 
needed him. He had no superstitious notion that 
he could hear Ellen calling him, that is the way 



JOHN ALSO RESOLVES 299 

he would have put it to himself; yet if he had 
been a more imaginative man, he would have said 
that he could hear her voice in his soul plead- 
ing for help in her hour of extremest peril. 

However it was, he was so strongly impressed 
that he struggled as long as he could to restrain 
the feeling which gave him no peace, until he 
finally arose and went out of the meeting, and 
hastened down to the home of the Tylers, and in- 
quired for Ellen. Aunt Clara was at home, get- 
ting dinner for the rest of the folks who had gone 
to meeting, and she answered his knock at the 
door. 

"Ellie, why, she is not well this morning, and 
she is still in bed. She did not sleep much last 
night, and I told her to lie still this morning, and 
she could perhaps go to meeting this afternoon." 

John sat and chatted a while with his old 
friend, Aunt Clara, but he did not mention the 
dreadful impression which he had felt that morn- 
ing, and he told himself again and again what a 
silly thing it was for him to give way to such no- 
tions. 

He heard later from Tom Allen that Ellen was 
at the afternoon meeting and he added that fact 
to the scolding he had administered that morning 
to himself, and assured himself that there was 
plenty of time to try and persuade pretty Ellen 
Tyler to accept him and his home as her future 
destiny. 



XXXII 
"SOUR GRAPES" 

FEW hours later, just in the cool edge 
of the late afternoon, John found him- 
self eagerly looking over some new 
daguerreotypes of various of his friends 
in the shop of Marcena Cannon, the photograph- 
er, on Main Street. He was so busily engaged that 
he did not notice the slight noisy wrangle of some 
drunken men on the street until he saw a group of 
them darken the small doorway of the tiny shop. 
As his glance caught the fact that they were sol- 
diers, he withdrew into the shadow and waited for 
developments. He was unwilling to embroil him- 
self with these men, and yet he had caught sight 
of the dissolute face of Captain Sherwood in the 
crowd, and John remained to watch. 

"Hello, Mr. Cannon," cried the tipsy captain, 
"we want our pictures taken. Can you take the 
picture of a gentleman as well as the ugly mugs 
of these d d Mormons?" 

The face of the photographer was drawn into a 
sneer of contempt for the insult thus offered him- 
self and his associates, but he only said: 

"Men in my profession must be as willing to 
try their hands at painting a fool as they are to 



"SOUR GRAPES" 301 

take the likeness of an honest man. Are there* 
any honest men in your party who want to pose 
before my camera?" 

For answer the captain only leered about the 
shop, pausing unsteadily before first one picture 
and then another; finally he caught sight of a 
large daguerreotype of President Brigham Young, 
done by the enterprising pioneer photographer 
Marcena Cannon. Steadying himself in front of 
this picture, Sherwood raised his pistol, and 
shot through it, the bullet embedding itself in 
the wall behind. His marksmanship was so un- 
steady that only the corner of the canvas was 
riddled; but the soldiers surrounded their cap- 
tain at once, fearing that his overt act might pre- 
cipitate some trouble. Sherwood yelled out as his 
shot rang into the dim silence of the room : 

"That's the way I'd serve the old scoundrel if I 
could get him in the same place." 

Instantly the room filled with street-loungers, 
although the sound was no unusual one in those 
unhappy Salt Lake days. As the smoke cleared 
away, Captain Sherwood found himself looking 
down the muzzle of John Stevens' own revolver, 
while a cool, grating voice hissed in his ear: 

"Git out, vermin." 

The soldier, sobered by his own folly, found his 
small squad of men were vastly outnumbered by 
the civilian police who now crowded into the 
tiny room, and without further parley he as- 



302 JOHN STEVENS' COURTSHIP 

sumed a braggart air, and swaggered out of the 
place. 

" 'He who runs away'," quoth Charlie Rose, 
who was at John's elbow by this time, " 'may live 
to fight another day.' But then again he may 
not. You don't can't sometimes always tell. Lit- 
tle Captain Sherwood may reach the place of his 
own seeking sooner than he anticipates." 

The incident only served the better to reveal the 
unprincipled character of a man whom already 
poor John hated with a righteous vigor. 

As the drunken captain, now somewhat sobered 
by his recent escapade, clanked noisily down Main 
Street, followed by his squad, he saw Diantha, 
clad in her usual comely habit, coming toward 
him. Instantly alert to any possible results of 
this chance encounter, Captain Sherwood straight- 
ened himself, and endeavored to assume his usual 
elegant swagger. But if he had removed the 
traces of his recent debauch from his walk, it still 
lingered in the dusky flame which burned in 
cheeks and chin, and above all there still glittered 
in the dusk of his leering eyes that signal of dan- 
ger which thrills every weak human creature who 
beholds that black flag. Captain Sherwood sober 
had much to recommend him to polite society 
but Captain Sherwood drunk betrayed the devil 
within him. Drunk or sober, he was the acme of 
grace, and it was with customary lightness that 
he swept off his blue cap and carrying it to his 



"SOUR GRAPES" 303 

heart he bowed low with exaggerated politeness 
to the frightened girl, now opposite him. 

With small trace of the raging fear within her, 
the girl turned her head proudly away, and with 
a slight motion of mingled fear and disgust she 
drew her skirts aside as if to avoid possible con- 
tact, and walked coldly on, leaving a short, dis- 
mayed silence behind her, as the men watched 
with common interest this second rout of their 
dissolute companion and superior officer. 

"You won't speak to me ?" the captain muttered 
thickly to himself; "well, my tragedy queen, I 
know somebody who will." 

To his men he only gave the word of command 
and the party were soon astride of their horses 
and riding rapidly into the south. 

It was Diantha's first experience with such evil 
forces ; and after she was well out of sight she flew 
to her home, with her heart clamoring at her 
throat for swift release. Flinging herself down 
upon her knees she buried her face in her pillow 
as she sobbed out her broken prayers to that liv- 
ing Father whose tender protection she had never 
before sought with such abject humility. After 
her heart had ceased to pound in her neck, she 
scolded herself for a stupid coward of a girl to 
be frightened in broad daylight, and on Main 
Street, where there were plenty of good men to 
protect her in case of real danger. Fright has no 
reason, has only eyes to see and ears to hear the 



304 JOHN STEVENS' COURTSHIP 

nameless possibilities which sweep the spirit out 
into formless space. Presently the still small voice 
of reason reached her consciousness, and as 
thought settled quietly down upon its throne in 
her troubled soul, the question flashed along her 
mind: "Why is that man hanging around Great 
Salt Lake City so often of late?" Then "Ellen?" 
was questioned and answered in a second illumi- 
nating thrill of pain. 

Without another moment's hesitation, Diantha 
sprang up, bathed her face, and the fear that had 
oppressed her for her own safety was transferred 
to her friend. 

Ellen was churning in her cool, quiet buttery. 
She greeted Diantha coldly, then bade her bring 
a chair for herself from the kitchen. 

"No, I will stand," answered Dian, too excited 
yet to talk calmly. "I have had such a fright!" 
And she proceeded to relate her recent experi- 
ences, not adding to nor taking from one single 
point; the truth was brutal enough to this shel- 
tered, pure-minded, unsophisticated girl. With 
that awful truth she had come to warn and shield 
her dearest friend. 

Ellen listened with her brooding eyes fixed upon 
her frothing churn-dash. When the story was 
fairly told, she offered no word of comment. 

"What do you think of that?" asked Dian, anx- 
ious to obtain her friend's point of view. 

"I don't think anything," Ellen said, at last. 



"SOUR GRAPES" 305 

"Why, Ellie, he was dead drunk." 

"How could you tell such a thing as that?" 
asked Ellen, judicially. "What do you or I know 
about drunken men?" 

"Oh, his eyes, and his red face and and 
everything " stammered Diantha, confused to be 
thus put at a disadvantage, and upon the witness- 
stand. "And there was something so terrible 
about him every way that I just shuddered when 
he looked into my eyes." 

Still Ellen refused to discuss the matter. Dian 
persisted : 

"You can't think what a fright I was in. If you 
could have just seen him " 

The sullen listener busied herself with her 
churn. And at last, she sat down to work over 
her butter. 

"Ellie," coaxed Diantha, "what do you think 
about the thing, anyway?" 

The weak, delicate character of the love-sick 
Ellen had been turned from its own natural candid 
sweetness into the gall of secretive obstinacy, by 
her concealed passion ; and when she was thus ad- 
jured, she simply raised her dash to clean off the 
remaining globes of gold, as she said, tartly: 

"If you want to know what I think about you, 
Dianthy Winthrop, I'll tell you 'sour grapes' !" 

Diantha was too frankly surprised for a moment 
to do aught but stare stupidly at the lowered face 
opposite her. Then suddenly comprehending, she 

20 



306 JOHN STEVENS' COURTSHIP 

said icily, her lips drawing into a sharp line across 
her face: 

"Do you think I have made up all this story? 
That I am jealous? Jealous of a vile, wicked sol- 
dier? Oh, Ellen, you surely can't think such a 
terrible thing as that!" 

"Would it be the first time you've been jealous 
of me?" asked the girl. Dian's truthful memory 
received this home-thrust in silence; but she was 
not thus to be thrown from her purpose. 

"But, Ellen, he was drunk ! Drunk, I tell you ! 
And he is not fit to wipe your shoes on." 

"Sour grapes," muttered the scornful lips of the 
girl before her. 

"Ellen Tyler, I came here with an honest desire 
to give you a friendly warning. I don't imagine 
for one moment that you need it any more than I 
do, or that you are not just as good and just as 
wise as I am maybe more so. But I am begin- 
ning to see things as they are: the glamor and 
glory and romance which once so fascinated me is 
fading away, thank God anyway as it relates to 
men who drink and carouse or who do wrong. 
And especially do I begin to see how unsafe we 
are associating with any man outside this Church 
and kingdom. I have done my best to warn you, 
as Aunt Clara and my brother have warned us 
both time and time again. We are two orphaned 
girls, but God has sent us repeated warnings 
through our best friends and guardians to listen 



"SOUR GRAPES" 307 

and obey. We girls may or may not come to 
harm when we follow our own path, but we can 
never come to a good end if we disobey the 
counsels of those who have a right to give us such 
counsel. I am going to try and heed that warn- 
ing counsel. I dare not disobey. It is bred in 
my very bone to give heed to the voice of wisdom. 
I felt a strong impression that you needed this 
warning, too, and I have given it. I think now 
that I shall go to Aunt Clara and tell her exactly 
what I have told you." 

Ellen's eyes lifted quickly. But with the sub- 
tle deceit of a weak, inwardly-selfish soul she said, 
smoothly : 

"Don't bother to tell Aunt Clara, Dian. You 
have told me, and I will remember all you say. 
It might only worry Aunt Clara when there is no 
need." 

Only half convinced, but wholly appeased by 
this seeming flag of truce, Diantha chatted with 
her friend awhile on indifferent things and then 
went away, resolved to seek some convenient op- 
portunity after the Conference was well over to 
have a long talk with Aunt Clara. 

Alas, that we wait for these laggard opportuni- 
ties, instead of boldly going out to meet them in 
the highway! It is well to consider well before 
we do evil, but good should be done on the im- 
pulse. 

The next morning, which was Sunday, Ellen 



308 JOHN STEVENS' COURTSHIP 

was at her post in the choir, and John hurried 
home from meeting at noon to make arrangements 
with a friend to take his place in the evening so 
that he could spend that Sunday evening visiting 
with Ellen. 

All afternoon he gently forced his mind to 
dwell solely and wholly upon the real sweetness 
and charm of pretty Ellen Tyler. He fancied what 
a dear little wife she would make and he drew 
all sorts of domestic pictures of what home with 
such a fond little wife would be. He knew she 
was good, true, lovely, and although weak in some 
points, he was sure that marriage would give her 
all the strength and force necessary for her per- 
fection as a woman and as a saint. Yes, John 
had decided to marry not Dian Winthrop, but 
sweet, impulsive, pretty Ellen Tyler if he could 
get her ! If he could ! Ah, if he only could ! 



XXXIII 
WHERE IS ELLEN? 

S the chill evening closed in that Sabbath 
night when the city was stilled of all its 
Conference bustle, for Conference had 
been adjourned to meet again in six 
months John Stevens hurried down to spend the 
quiet evening hours with Ellen Tyler. He had 
resolved to ask her to be his wife, and if she 
happily consented, he should insist that no delays 
of months or even weeks were necessary, but the 
sweet June month, not far away with its rose- 
blown days and its fragrant, mellow nights, should 
see their wedding day with its tender promise of 
loving reality. 

"Well, Aunt Clara," he said to that good lady, 
"I am here again, you see. Who comes so often 
as I do?" 

"No one that is half so welcome," she answered 
gently, with her kindly smile. "Come right in, 
John, and let me take your hat." 

"How are you all, Aunt Clara, and I suppose I 
may as well out with it: where is Ellie?" 

"We are well, John, and so is Ellie. She got 
over her little sick spell all right, and went to 
meeting this morning. But she is not at home to- 
night, nor will she be for a few days. I let her go 



310 JOHN STEVENS' COURTSHIP 

home with the Meachams, who live in Provo, you 
know. I have had to be away from home so 
much this winter and spring, nursing the sick, 
that Ellen has been real lonesome. I felt a little 
sorry to let her go, for I don't like our girls away 
from home these times. However, you know I 
can't always have my way, and Ellen teased so 
long, and Brother Meacham said he would be very 
careful of her, and as she promised to be back in- 
side of two weeks, I just had to let her go." 

"Where did the Meachams stay, while they 
were here, Aunt Clara? Did they put up with 
you?" 

"Oh, no; you know we had all of Jane's folks 
from Davis County, and we had eight of the new 
arrivals from England, some folks that Brother 
Kimball told to come here ; they had been so kind 
to him while he was in England." 

"I wonder where the Meachams did stay, 
then?" asked John, uneasily. 

"I ain't sure, but I think they camped in the 
Tithing Yard ; you know they have a good wagon, 
and as they are pretty independent, they would 
rather do for themselves than to stay with any- 
one, unless it was an own brother or sister." 

John picked up his hat with his usual slow, 
decisive motion, and refusing Aunt Clara's warm 
invitation to stay awhile and chat with her, he 
left the house, with his long, swinging strides, 
and was soon out of the gate, on his way to the 



WHERE IS ELLEN? 31i 

Tithing Yard. He did not stop to ask himself 
why he was going there, for he knew that most 
of the teams which had camped there would be 
on their hurried way for home, as soon as the Con- 
ference was once closed. Yet he walked as rap- 
idly as was possible for him, and he told himself 
that all he hoped to find out was what hour the 
Meachams left, and who else was with Ellen Ty- 
ler.' 

It was a dark night in the early spring. Once 
inside the yard he made his way through the mass 
of debris and over outstretched wagon tongues to 
the one lone campfire burning brightly in a dis- 
tant corner of the yard. The children were sitting 
with sleepy, bent heads upon their mother's knees, 
listening with all but unconscious ears as one or 
another gave the company the benefit of some 
imitation of Yorkshire dialect, or spun a yarn in 
canny Scotch. As John approached the group, he 
noted one face, with a positive start. 

"James Meacham," he called out, unable to con- 
tain himself, "I thought you were on your road to 
Provo. I was told you had started this afternoon ; 
and also, that you had Ellen Tyler with you, who 
was going with your wife and daughter to make a 
short visit. How is it I find you here?" 

"Well, Brother John, you find me here because 
I am not there ; I did not start, because I was not 
ready to start. And I haven't seen your precious 
young friend, Ellen Tyler; no more has my wife, 



312 JOHN STEVENS' COURTSHIP 

nor my girl Maggie, I think. She was to be here 
tonight to let us know if she could go down with 
us. And what's more, I am wondering why it is 
you are so particular to know. Are you going to 
marry that fine young woman?" 

"Where is Sister Meacham?" asked John, in a 
low tone, unheeding his friend's raillery. 

"She is just gone to bed in the wagon. Here, 
Maggie," he called, at the side of the wagon, as 
he led the way for John, "here's John Stevens 
huntin' up pretty Ellie Tyler." 

"Sister Meacham, have you seen Ellen today, 
and do you know whether she went to Provo with 
anyone else?" 

"Why, Brother Stevens, I saw Ellie yesterday, 
and she told me she was going to go with us down 
to Provo for a day or two, but she hasn't been 
around today, and as I thought maybe she was 
wanting to get a bit readier I asked James to wait 
all night and we would go down to Tyler's in the 
morning on our way out of town v and pick Ellie 
up. Have you been down to her house? I guess 
she is there, all right." 

John said a few hurried words, and then hastened 
away in the silent night, leaving the Meachams 
with a little wonder on their minds, but no suspi- 
cion of anything serious. He remembered that 
Ellen often stayed at Winthrops over night when 
Aunt Clara had to be out nursing, and he would 
go there before he gave way to the horrible doubts 



WHERE IS ELLEN? 313 

and fears that were nearly overmastering him. 
His knock at the door was answered by Diantha 
herself, and she held out her hand to John with a 
pretty attempt which began at serious coldness, 
but which ended like an invitation to forgive and 
forget. John did not see her outstretched hand. 
He was too full of other emotions to even see the 
welcoming sparkle in her blue eyes. He merely 
took off his hat and asked laconically : 

"Is Ellen Tyler over here?" 

"No, I've hardly seen Ellen for weeks, that is, 
except at a distance." Her manner was cold at 
once. He had come hunting another girl. 

John's next words dispelled this coldness, and 
communicated to her something o? the excited 
fears which tore the breast of the man before her. 

"Diantha, Ellen Tyler left her home this after- 
noon just after meeting, telling Aunt Clara that 
she was going to Provo with James Meacham's 
family to spend a fortnight. Aunt Clara is near 
worn out with nursing and Conference visitors, 
and consented to let Ellie go for two weeks. Ellen 
took her clothes with her, and bade them all good- 
bye. She is not with the Meachams, who are still 
encamped in the Tithing Yard, nor is she at home 
nor here. Where is she?" 

Diantha looked with fixed, widening eyes at the 
pale face before her, and she repeated slowly and 
mechanically, as if too stunned to think : 

"Where is she?" 



XXXIV 
IS SHE AT THE CHASE MILL? 



D 



IANTHA turned without another word 
to John, and, flying upstairs, she was 
down in a moment, with a shawl thrown 
around her shoulders and head. 

"Come," she said, breathlessly. 

"Where are you going?" 

"Over to Aunt Clara, to ask her what to do. My 
brother Appleton is away, and Aunt Clara will 
know better than anyone else what to do." 

They sped along in the cool, spring evening, 
not exchanging one word, for both hearts were 
heavy with the weight of remorse. Each knew 
that the word of inspiration had warned both that 
Ellen was on dangerous ground, and each knew 
that the word had not been heeded to the extent 
that it should have been. 

"Oh, for one moment to undo the past," was 
the pitiful tale which each heart was telling its 
silent listener. 

Aunt Clara's face whitened with a pallor like 
their own when the whole story had been told; 
but in spite of the sure feeling o catastrophe 
which assailed all three, Aunt Clara was too wise 
to allow fear to master her. 



IS SHE AT THE CHASE MILL? 315 

"Now, don't go to imagining that Ellen has 
run away because we can't just now get trace 
of her. Everything will turn out all right. 
You haven't half looked for her. She may have 
gone down with the Harpers instead of the 
Meachams. Or, she may have gone out to the 
Chase Mill, for you remember she did not see 
me the very last minute. She bade us good- 
bye before we went to meeting, for she said 
she would not wait till we got home, we always 
stay so long talking, and she wanted to get off. 
No, the thing to do tonight is to find out if she is 
at the Chase Mill. You see, if the Meachams have 
not gone, she may have found a chance to go 
down to the mill over night, thinking she could 
go on with them in the morning." 

There was a very faint glimmering of hope in 
this suggestion, and without saying anything 
further, it was arranged that John should get per- 
mission from the President for a three days' ab- 
sence from his duties as night guardsman, and 
then he should come for both Aunt Clara and Dian 
in his own light spring wagon with a cover, for 
Dian would not listen to the others going with- 
out her. She felt so unhappy that she could 
scarcely bear her own sorrow, and she would have 
followed them on foot, so great was her anxiety 
to know the whole truth about her beloved friend. 

She sat with Aunt Clara, telling her, now that it 
was too late, all the things that she knew and sus- 



316 JOHN STEVENS' COURTSHIP 

pected of Ellen ; of the night of the Christmas ball 
and of her subsequent determination to give John 
up entirely to Ellen ; and of how Ellen had avoid- 
ed her all winter, and how she had not broken 
through her reserve, for she had thought it was 
due to a little jealousy on Ellen's part on account 
of John. She also told her of how skilfully Ellen 
had parried all her questions and all attempts to 
draw her out the night they slept together; lastly 
she told of their stormy interview the day before. 

All this the girl told with streaming eyes, and 
broken, sobbing breaths. Her self-reproach and 
agony were terrible, and Aunt Clara wisely al- 
lowed the first flood of her grief to spend itself 
before she interrupted or tried to calm the ex- 
cited girl. At last, however, the elder woman saw 
a chance to relieve in a measure the unnecessary 
remorse, and she asked gently: 

"Has Ellen ever told you she was in love with 
the soldier you speak of?" 

"No, no indeed. The very last time we had a 
confidential talk, she said almost in as many words 
that she would give anything in this world if 
John Stevens would fall in love with her. But 
that was last winter, and I have treated him as 
coldly as I possibly could ever since, for Ellie's 
sake." 

"Diantha, you are taking more of this on your- 
self than you have any need to do; you have not 
helped Ellen to do wrong, and if you spoke once 



IS SHE AT THE CHASE MILL? 317 

to this wicked soldier, it was but for the once. 
Purity does not consist in never being at fault, or 
knowing what temptation is, but it is to resist that 
which on reflection we know to be wrong. Ellen 
ought to understand this as well as you do, dear, 
for, oh, I have tried to train her aright. I love 
her as my own life. I have spent many an hour in 
trying to persuade her to avoid temptation. I 
know the poor, dear girl is vain, and that makes 
her weak. She lacks the strength which helps us 
to keep our own good opinion of ourselves. She 
loves admiration and pleasure so well that, al- 
ways, even as a child, she would sacrifice anything 
else on earth for it." Poor Aunt Clara was trying 
to drown her own self-reproaches with philosophy 
and moral reflection. 

"But oh, to think of Ellen gone away, and to 
such a horrible doom ! It is too awful," and again 
the girl broke into a sobbing fit. It was Dian's 
first real grief, her first experience of life and its 
deepest trials. 

"Diantha, I can see where I have failed with my 
poor Ellie; I have been so anxious to nurse and 
help to save the sick bodies of the poor and desti- 
tute and to administer food and raiment to the 
needy, that I have been at times forgetful 
and careless of the sick and needy soul of my 
precious child, who is like the child of my own 
body. True, I did not suspect anything of what 
you are now telling me. But this is not wisdom. 



318 JOHN STEVENS' COURTSHIP 

Let us not mourn over the past, but mend the 
future." 

At that moment John drove up, and the three 
rode away in the late evening darkness, to visit 
the Chase Mill, on the outskirts of the city, and. 
find out if Ellen had been there. Aunt Clara's 
surmise was correct; Ellen had ridden down 
there, according to the old gentleman who tended 
the mill, which lay just southeast of the city. 
Ellen came there alone, he said, and asked for a 
drink of milk. She also took some bread and 
butter, for she said she expected to be taken up 
either by the Meachams or the Harpers, and she 
was going to spend two weeks in Prove, visiting 
her many friends in that place. 

"How did Ellen get here?" inquired John. 

"She said she came down as far as the mill with 
Brother Sheets. She stayed with me here about 
an hour, and then, seeing a dust outside coming 
down the main road, she walked over there, car- 
rying her bundle of clothes, and waited for the 
teams. I was busy getting up the cows and feed- 
ing the stock, and did not think any more about 
it for about an hour, and when I looked out to 
the main road for her, she was gone. I went right 
out, and happened to meet a team going south, 
and I asked the driver if the Meachams or the 
Harpers had gone on that way a little while be- 
fore, and he said he thought the Harpers were just 
ahead of him, as they drove out of the city about 



IS SHE AT THE CHASE MILL? 310 

half an hour before he did. So, of course, she has 
gone down to Prove. If you want to stay over 
night, I will rig up some straw ticks, and make 
you as comfortable as I can." 

Aunt Clara could never feel satisfied to go back 
to the city without learning something definite 
and sure about their missing girl; and so it was 
decided to wait over night at the farm house, and 
to start very early in the morning for Prova, and 
bring back their loved wanderer with them on 
their return next day. 



w 



XXXV 
ON TO PROVO 

HAT conflicting emotions swayed that 
little party of three as they rode rapidly 
along the next day towards the town of 
Provo ! 

Diantha had chosen to sit by John on the front 
seat, both to accommodate Aunt Clara, who was 
stout, and to comfort her own miserable heart, by 
resting on his great, fortress-like personality. She 
was too weak just now to stand alone, as she had 
done all her life. She was discovering that she 
was a true woman, and she needed someone to 
lean on in her hour of woe. 

"John," she said, "do you remember when we 
came home last year from Provo, how we met 
those soldiers, almost here it was?" and then that 
brought up the thought all were trying to put 
away, and Aunt Clara interrupted : 

"I wonder where the folks stayed all night! 
They couldn't drive clear through to Provo after 
meeting was out yesterday afternoon. We didn't 
think to inquire at Dr. Dunyon's at the point of 
the mountain, if they stayed there over night." 

"I will ask at the Bishop's as we pass through 
Lehi, if he saw the Harpers on the road today," 



ON TO PROVO 321 

Accordingly, they drove to the Bishop's, in 
Lehi, and he told them he had seen the Harpers 
driving along early that morning, but they did 
not stop over in the settlement. 

"Did you notice if they had two or three girls 
with them? They had a grown daughter of their 
own, and Ellen Tyler came down with them. I 
was wondering if she sat on the front seat." 

This was said as indifferently as it was possible, 
for John did not want to arouse unnecessary sus- 
picion or cause unnecessary talk. 

"Well, I can't say that I noticed. They had 
the wagon cover tied up at the sides, and there 
were women or girls inside, for I heard them 
laughing and singing as they passed by our 
fence." 

This was cheering, and John consented, al- 
though somewhat reluctantly, to accept the Bish- 
op's kindly invitation to stop and have some din- 
ner, for he realized the women ought to eat, even 
if it were impossible for him to do so. It took 
some time for the worthy Bishop's wife to cook 
dinner, and she was very anxious to get the best 
she had, for John Stevens was an old friend, and 
he had done them many a good turn. Good as the 
dinner was, no one seemed able to eat much, al- 
though John drank some of the rich, cold milk 
which the Bishop's wife brought up from the 
springhouse. 

It was past three o'clock when they left Lehi, 

21 



322 JOHN STEVENS' COURTSHIP 

and there were twenty miles to drive to Provo. 
But John's team was a fine one, and at seven 
o'clock in the evening, just at the early spring 
dusk, as they neared the edge of the bench over- 
looking Provo, they all strained with hungry, 
eager eyes at the little town stretched along the 
river bottoms, and each hoped and tried to believe 
that the object of their search was sheltered be- 
neath one of those low, friendly roofs. 

Diantha told herself that when she got hold of 
Ellen she would squeeze her and pet her until 
she would never need the love of another person. 
She would never leave her side again, for she 
would either forsake her own home to live with 
Ellen, or she would coax Aunt Clara to let Ellen 
live with her. And oh, what would she not do to 
make Ellen happy! She remembered that Ellen 
did not like to make beds, or wash dishes. Well, 
she would never have that to do again, for she 
would take all that work off Ellen's slender hands. 
She did not mind it, and Ellen should never have 
to do anything she disliked again. 

On the other hand, the more experienced head 
of Aunt Clara was cogitating about the possible 
future when they found and brought the dear 
wanderer home, and she decided that Ellen must 
take up and faithfully perform some of the disa- 
greeable things which all her life she had slight- 
ed and slipped over. She felt that perhaps she, 
herself, had favored Ellen too much, in that she 



ON TO PROVO 323 

had allowed her to please herself always, and 
that too, often at the expense of the comfort and 
rights of others. She saw now that what Ellen 
needed was not less affection, but more discipline, 
to learn that happiness does not consist in gratifi- 
cation of one's own wishes and desires, but in the 
cheerful sacrifice of self for the good and com- 
fort of others. She realized now that her Ellen 
had that inner selfishness clothed with an outer 
lavish extravagance which deceives and entices 
the best of casual friends. Ellen would give up 
anything but her own vain pleasures. Aunt 
Clara had become so accustomed to sacrificing 
herself for those around her, that she began to 
fear lest she had thus deprived others of that cha- 
stening discipline. She resolved again and again 
that she would take up another line of action with 
her loved child, who was as dear as if she had 
been her own offspring. 

John's thoughts were too deep to be discernible 
from his composed yet pale face, and he said 
nothing, unless questioned by the others, but 
guided his team with a firm yet gentle hand. 

The low door of the Harpers' home opened at 
John's knock, and the girl Jenny, herself, opened 
it. 

"Ellie Tyler? Oh, no, we haven't seen her. 
She said Saturday in meeting that she might come 
down with us, or she would come with the Meach- 
ams, and she has promised to spend one week 



324 JOHN STEVENS' COURTSHIP 

with me. I guess she is on the road with the 
Meachams." 

John knew better than that, but he would not 
set tongues to wagging, and so he said again, in 
his quiet, yet now wily way : 

"Did you see that officer from Camp Floyd as 
you drove out of the city last night? I under- 
stand he has been attending our meetings. I 
wonder if any of those soldiers are really interest- 
ed in our Church?" 

The girl caught eagerly at the bait he had so 
skilfully flung. 

"Oh, yes, I saw him. He had a spanking team, 
and he passed us just before we got to Chase's 
mill. He was alone, though, and if he was at 
meeting yesterday I didn't see him. But I be- 
lieve he was there Saturday with some more sol- 
diers." 

John had caught the door post as she spoke, 
and he leaned against his arm heavily, as he said, 
huskily, still determined to avoid all unnecessary 
talk: 

"We are going to find Ellen, as there is to be a 
theater in the Social Hall at the end of the week, 
and she is needed to take a small part. We will 
find her all right; thank you." 

John got out to the carriage, and in a husky 
voice he repeated what had been told him, and he 
added : 



ON TO PROVO 325 

"I am going to Bishop Miller's and get a fresh 
team and drive out to Camp Floyd tonight. You 
can both stay at the Bishop's all night, and I will 
arrange to have you driven home tomorrow." 

"I shall not stay all night in Prove," said Di- 
antha, harshly. "I will walk if you will not take 
me, but I am going to Camp Floyd myself this 
night." 

"Get in, John," said Aunt Clara's quiet voice, 
"and drive on to the Bishop's and get your team. 
We will sit out in the carriage, and you needn't 
say to anyone that we are with you, for I am 
anxious as yourself to keep people from talking. 
We are both going with you." 

John was already driving heedlessly down the 
street, for he had neither time nor words to waste. 

Not a word was spoken, for miles, by the three 
who rode so rapidly along the dusty, rough new 
road which stretched ghostlike along the barren 
valley between the tiny settlements in Utah Val- 
ley, and the distant encampment on the other side 
of the western hills. 

As they flew along in the bright young moon- 
light, the swift light clouds anon parted and then 
banked up again, thus alternately revealing and 
concealing the scene about them; at each side of 
the road the great bristling sagebrush which cov- 
ered the plain rose up like a high, rough hedge. 
Here and there a startled rabbit flew over the 
lower sagebushes, losing himself in the faint 



326 JOHN STEVENS' COURTSHIP 

moonlight and the distance. The lake now lay 
before them, now behind them, like a dark, pur- 
ple shadow, its quiet ripples untouched by breeze, 
and unbroken by any current. The dark moun- 
tains shut them in, and as they neared the western 
rim, it seemed as if a wall of impenetrable gloom 
shut off further progress ; but a narrow defile led 
through the low hills, and en they sped. 

In the near distance a coyote yelped in shrill 
hunger, or answered his mate's warning cry from 
the distant foothills. The cool air grew chill 
around them, and Aunt Clara drew her own shawl 
about her, and threw upon Dian's unconscious 
shoulders the extra shawl she herself had remem- 
bered to add to their hasty preparations. 

As they neared the dusky group of tents in the 
outer village across the stream from Camp Floyd 
even John was startled as a voice sang out sud- 
denly : 

"Who goes there?" 

John saw the gleam of a musket barrel as the 
sentinel stepped from behind the cedar tree. 

"A friend," John answered. "Harney's the 
word," and John thanked his happy fate that he 
had by accident or inspiration hit upon the right 
pass-word. The sentinel lowered the musket, ana 
as he approached the carriage, Diantha shrank 
with a nameless terror of the night and its un- 
known perils close to John's side. Without a 
word, John put out his arm, and drew her to him, 



ON TO PROVO 327 

as if to shield her from even the gaze of wicked 
men; and thus he held her close while he par- 
leyed with the soldier. 




XXXVI 

n 

AT CAMP FLOYD 

HAVE important business to present to 
your commander. I bear with me letters 
and orders from President Brigham 
Young, endorsed by Governor Gumming. 
I must see General Johnston at once." 

Diantha knew then that John had prepared him- 
self for this before he had left the city, and she 
bowed her head in shame for all it implied con- 
cerning her beloved Ellen. 

"I will leave you, Aunt Clara and Diantha," he 
said, as he drove on, "at the house of one of our 
people at the edge of the camp, while I go in and 
learn what I can from the commander. You will 
be perfectly safe, for Brother Hicks is the store- 
keeper, and he has his wife with him, and three 
grown boys. Wait here till I come for you." 

John lifted Aunt Clara out, and gave the brother 
who came to the carriage directions to get her 
something to eat, for she was nearly worn out 
with her long and rough ride. Then he turned to 
the carriage, and taking Dian in his great strong 
arms, he lifted her to the ground, and without a 
word, he led her into the house, and shut the door 
between them. 



AT CAMP FLOYD 329 

He left the carriage at the house, and proceeded 
to the sleeping encampment on foot. It was 
midnight, and everything was dark and silent 
around the white-tented grounds. However, Gen- 
eral Johnston arose at once in answer to the call, 
and with a slightly disgusted face listened to the 
story told by John. 

"You will find Captain Sherwood in his own 
quarters, and you are at liberty to put whatever 
question you may choose to him, for Captain 
Sherwood has received strict orders on that sub- 
ject from my own lips. My officers are gentle- 
men, and the soldiers are as decent and orderly as 
common men in any walk of life. I can't see on 
what grounds Governor Gumming interferes with 
my discipline in this way." 

The general was intensely annoyed over the 
whole matter. Evidently a girl more or less was 
nothing to him. His rest and his discipline were 
of more consequence than all the women in the 
country. Yet he could not ignore the request of 
the Territorial executive, and so John was al- 
lowed to depart with permission to go where he 
pleased in the camp, and to secure and take away 
all the girls and women he could find or might 
choose to befriend. John found his way to the offi- 
cers' tents, and as he approached them, he saw the 
light of a cigar in the front of one. He gave the 
pass-word and asked: 

"May I inquire if I am near the tent of Cap- 



330 JOHN STEVENS' COURTSHIP 

tain Sherwood? I have business of importance 
with him." 

"My name is Saxey," came the answer out of 
the darkness, and as the cigar was thrown away 
the colonel threw up the tent door and said : 

"Come in, sir, whoever you are." 

"My name is Stevens, and I am from Great Salt 
Lake City. I have reason to believe that Captain 
Sherwood has abducted a young girl from our 
midst, one Ellen Tyler. As she is the step-daughter 
of a widowed aunt, I have been authorized by the 
Governor and have received permission from your 
commander to do what I can to recover the young 
lady. Where can I find Captain Sherwood?" 

John felt willing that any of them should know 
the object of his visit, for he keenly suspected that 
they must many of them be aware of it, anyway. 
Colonel Saxey stood toying with a small dagger 
on his low stand, and his kind face expressed 
something of the anxiety this disclosure had upon 
him. It was with a different tone of voice to 
that used by General Johnston that he replied: 

"I have not seen any strange girl around the 
camp lately, but I am free to confess to you that 
Sherwood was not here at all yesterday. We 
only review twice a week, and so the commander 
did not know of his absence an absence without 
leave, I must also confess. But I do not think 
that anything serious has happened, my dear Mr. 
Stevens. On the contrary, I hope you will find all 



AT CAMP FLOYD 331 

your suspicions are groundless. Captain Sherwood 
is a gentleman." He winced a little as the familiar 
form of defense of a friend slipped from his lips. 
"I have every reason to believe that if you should 
find that the young lady you speak of has run 
away with the captain, he will marry her at once, 
even if he has not already done so." 

John Stevens said nothing, but slowly stroked 
his beard, as he stood impatiently waiting to hunt 
the "gallant" captain up. The soldier noted the 
fiery gleam and glitter in the scintillating eyes of 
the mountaineer, and he felt that Sherwood would 
need all his skill to meet such a foe under any 
circumstances. He said no more, however, but 
silently led the way from his tent to Captain Sher- 
wood's tent door. 

A determined call brought out the sleepy or- 
derly, who told Colonel Saxey that Sherwood had 
been away since yesterday morning, and he did 
not know anything about him. Saxey had feared 
this would be the result, but he stood uncertain 
for a moment. Then turning to Stevens he said : 

"Come," and they glided out into the night, 
leaving the drowsy orderly to return to his bro- 
ken slumber. 

They passed rapidly through the outer lines, 
after giving the night pass-word, and once be- 
yond the chance of being overheard by soldiers 
within the camp and stragglers within the village, 
Colonel Saxey paused in the high sagebrush 



332 JOHN STEVENS' COURTSHIP 

around them, and drawing near the tall, shadowy 
form of his companion, he said, distinctly but 
softly : 

"I believe you are a good man ; I have seen a lit- 
tle of this matter, and I did what I could to avert 
this disaster. I cannot tell you all I know; it 
would be dishonorable. I want you to promise 
me one thing, and that is, that no matter what has 
happened, you will not commit a greater crime to 
avenge yourself of a wrong. Murder will not 
wipe out sin. And there is hate enough in the 
Territory as it is." 

"I am not a common butcher," said John, 
gloomily. 

"I have nothing farther to say. But there is a 
small log cabin not far from here, where Sher- 
wood sometimes stays at nights." He started to 
go back to his quarters; then turning back, he 
paused as if to speak. John waited, but no word 
came from the trembling lips of the agitated sol- 
dier. 

John hurried away, too anxious to wait longer, 
and the colonel again slowly bent his way in the 
dim, midnight darkness, to the sleeping village of 
the white tents, and as he passed the outer guard, 
he murmured: 

"Have I done right, or have I done a coward- 
ly thing?" 

The guard touched his cap, and said : 

"I did not understand you, sir." 



AT CAMP FLOYD 333 

"No matter," answered the colonel, as he 
passed on more rapidly to his tent. 

"The girl may yet be saved, or he may be made 
to marry her," he muttered, as he threw up his 
own tent door. 




XXXVII 
"DEAD OR DISGRACED?" 

OHN sped away between the high sage- 
brush and willows which skirted the 
stream running along west from camp. 
At one place he found himself on the 
bank and saw that the ditch ran far below in a 
small gully. 

He could hear nothing, nor could he see any 
signs of human habitation. He turned his steps 
in another direction and hurried onward in his zig- 
zag course, straining his eyes in the fading moon- 
light of the evening for sight of a habitation. 

All at once he heard a distant or smothered cry. 
He stopped at once, and as he could hear nothing 
further, he fancied that he must have been mis- 
taken, or that it was the screech of a far-away 
mountain lion. He turned again in his tracks, and 
by some instinct ran back to the hidden stream 
which flowed along down in the deep gully. That 
scream again! and he was sure it was a woman's 
voice. He flew now in the direction from which 
it had come. The moon was down, and he 
could see nothing but shadows and gloom, ac- 
customed as he was to piercing these mountain 
nights with his keen, far-sighted eyes. 



"DEAD OR DISGRACED?" 335 

Again and again that scream, and this time he 
saw, not many rods distant from him, a door flung 
open, for it threw a stream of light across the 
brush between him and the cabin. He ran on and 
on, jumping over the brush occasionally and 
panting harder as his bounds drew him nearer 
the source of those piercing screams. A man's 
curses and three successive shots rang out upon 
the air, mingled with screams, then a hideous 
laugh in a harsh voice that was still a woman's, 
and John could just see a flying figure bound out 
from the door and disappear in the depths of the 
shadows of the gully. 

"You she-devil!" yelled a man, as he dashed 
away after the figure flying away in the darkness. 
John hesitated a moment whether to follow the 
two who had run away, or to make straight for 
the cabin; he chose the latter, and with hasty 
bounds, he was soon at the door with his eyes fixed 
upon a figure stretched upon the floor. 

It was Ellen! A moment, and he was beside 
her, trying to stanch the pistol shot wound in her 
gaping neck, and calling softly under his breath 
for her to open her eyes. 

He did not hear the heavy steps behind him, 
but he turned to meet the black, blazing eyes of 
Louisiana Liz, peeping in the door behind him, 
her smoking pistol still in her hand, and then he 
heard the woman howl with wicked laughter : 
"You sought your flown bird too late, for the 



336 JOHN STEVENS' COURTSHIP 

huntsman found her heart and the keen arrow of 
hate found her throat almost as soon. Ha, ha, ha !" 

John's blood curdled in his veins, and he held 
the dying girl closer to him as he bent his head 
over her. 

Ellie opened her eyes as she felt John's pres- 
ence, and whispered painfully, "Tell Aunt Clara 
to forgive me ; I am so sorry. I am so sorry " 

John never knew how he allowed that sweet life 
to flicker out, for he felt as if he could arise and 
grapple with Death himself and conquer the 
grim destroyer of all this beauty and youth. 

"Well, my long-bearded friend," gasped a 
hoarse voice behind him; "you seem to have 
served your sweetheart a pretty ghastly trick." 

John laid the body of his dead upon the earth- 
en floor of the hut, and with a spring he was upon 
his adversary. But the soldier, who was too 
quick for him, dodged the blow, and ran out of 
the door. John followed, and ran this way and 
that, but the darkness and the unfamiliarity of 
the place rendered it impossible for him to find 
the villain who had thus dared to imply that he 
himself had been guilty of this awful deed. 

In a moment, John knew how impossible it 
would be for him to prove anything. From the 
few words of so good a friend as Colonel Saxey 
he knew that it would only provoke hostilities and 
perhaps plunge the whole Territory into war and 



"DEAD OR DISGRACED?" 337 

rob the leaders of their lives, if he added another 
crime to the one already committed. 

His hands twitched and his throat ached as he 
entered that dreadful hut, for he felt that he would 
be justified in the eyes of God and man in taking 
the lives of such vile reprobates as were this sol- 
dier Sherwood and his octoroon paramour. Yet his 
first duty was to take the body of this unhappy 
girl home for decent burial, and then he might 
well leave the question of revenge to God and 
the future. 

No one saw or molested him as he made his 
hasty preparation to carry the body away. He 
slowly and painfully made his way to the strag- 
gling village north of where he stood. He stepped 
more softly as he neared the village, for he had 
no mind to awaken the inmates of the huts around 
him. He had wrapped the body up in a quilt, and 
now he laid it carefully down just outside the 
window of the dwelling, whence shone the light 
that proved to him that his friends were awaiting 
him. 

He stood a moment, to collect his strength a 
little before he met any one; then he knocked 
softly. Aunt Clara came to the door, and asked 
as soon as she saw him, "Have you found her?" 

John bowed his head ; he could not speak. 

"Is she dead or disgraced?" Aunt Clara never 
knew why she asked such a question, but it broke 
the calm of the man before her, and hi leaned 
22 



338 JOHN STEVENS' COURTSHIP 

upon his arm against the doorpost, unable to con- 
trol his voice. His body was quivering with a 
man's rare and awful sobs; they shook him as a 
heavy wind shakes the mighty canyon pines. 

Aunt Clara stood gazing at him with glazed 
eyes of anguish. She could not speak, as Diantha 
followed her and asked: 

"What is it, John ; what have you found ? Can't 
you speak? Where is Ellen? Why don't you 
tell us? Why don't you bring her here?" 

"Dead or disgraced?" quivered Aunt Clara's 
lips, as she looked imploringly up into John's 
averted eyes. 

John straightened himself, and answered with a 
shiver: "Both!" And poor Aunt Clara fainted at 
his feet. 



XXXVIII 
SEGO-LILIES 

TjHE death of Ellen Tyler cast a heavy 
I gloom over the whole community. The 
terrible circumstances surrounding it 
gave an added cause of enmity between 
the people and the army. 

The funeral, which was held in the ward school 
house, was attended by nearly every one in the 
city. The people assembled in the quiet and un- 
demonstrative fashion usual on such occasions; 
and long before ten o'clock, the time set for the 
services, the house was filled to overflowing. The 
windows were raised, and temporary benches ar- 
ranged outside, so that as many as possible could 
hear the sermon. 

The simple cortege made its way down the 
street. As the mourners entered the hall, no one 
wondered to see John Stevens assist the foster- 
mother of the girl as she leaned heavily on his 
arm. Aunt Clara's face was very pale, for her 
heart was well-nigh broken ; and yet her eyes were 
lifted and clear while all who glanced at her saint- 
like, controled face, felt calmed and quieted. Di- 
antha was among the chief mourners, but she was 
not as tearless and as calm as Aunt Clara; her 
convulsed face betrayed her mute agony. 



340 JOHN STEVENS' COURTSHIP 

The whole awful story had swept from mouth 
to mouth, and some of the men who sat watching 
the sad procession file in felt the hot blood of re- 
venge pour from heart to temple, and there were 
few present who would not gladly have taken up 
the ghastly burden of swift revenge in behalf of 
the dead girl. 

The coffin was placed upon the table just below 
the pulpit. Its plain, mountain wood was unre- 
lieved by ornament or trimming. Within, the girl 
lay, peaceful and silent, her sweet face jusrt 
touched by the creamy, heavy petals of the sego- 
lilies which her small hands clasped. Those lilies 
were like her own life, beautiful and white, yet at 
the heart just purpled with the shadows. 

President Young lastly passed in, and the con- 
gregation waited with anxious longing to hear his 
words upon this unhappy occasion. After a brief 
hymn, the President arose, and with slow, im- 
pressive sentences he pictured the sheltered life of 
such girls as the one before him. He touched upon 
the affectionate nature of woman, and told the 
Elders of Israel that to them in part was due the 
blame of such awful scenes as this. There was 
enough of love, plenty of safe, sheltered retreats 
for all good women in the hearts and homes of the 
men of Zion. Women should have as ample op- 
portunity to select their partners as men, and if 
they showed a preference for a good man, why 
should he not consider her right to claim his af- 



SEGO-LILIES 341 

faction, as carefully as he would expect her to 
consider a like claim from him? He spoke in 
strong, powerful terms of the wickedness of men 
who cared nothing for the virtue of womankind, 
and who respected nothing on earth or in heaven. 

His words stirred the already excited hearts to 
a fiery pitch of indignation. As if he saw the un- 
necessary anger, he said in quiet tones : "It may 
prove useless to try to keep our girls and boys 
from running after sin, for if they have not the in- 
tegrity to stand, they will fall. Now, this young 
girl has had good teachings, good examples, and 
she has been surrounded by love and kindness; 
she has not been neglected. In her weakness she 
loved too well the admiration of men, and she has 
herself sought and found her sin and its punish- 
ment. We must stand or fall for ourselves, and 
while we are responsible in a measure for the 
words we speak and the example we set, yet each 
must answer for himself or herself at the bar of 
Justice." 

At his words, so solemnly spoken, Diantha felt 
her very heart stand still. 

"Will this fair daughter of Zion never receive 
salvation?" asked the speaker. "Yes, she certainly 
will. She will learn her lesson. She will repent 
of her sin; and after suffering the necessary pun- 
ishment will be reunited with her parents and 
friends, and with them share the blessings and 
privileges of the priesthood. She has already 



342 JOHN STEVENS' COURTSHIP 

partly paid the penalty of her sin with her life. 
She will be saved eventually in the Kingdom of 
Heaven. I do not want the family to grieve too 
much, for this poor child is far better off than she 
could possibly be upon earth now; and her last 
words were words of repentance and affection. 
Some of these spirits, though weak in the flesh, 
are very choice and lovely. We love them and 
mourn deeply if they fall into error or are snatched 
away by death. 

"If this be a grievous sin for a tender and deli- 
cate girl, what must be said of men who lead 
women to destruction? I would say that no pit is 
deep enough for them. I do not wish to excite 
any undue rage towards the vile wretch and his 
paramour whose work this is ; for God will avenge 
the innocent on their enemies. But to you Eld- 
ers of Israel, I say, beware how you treat the 
fair daughters of Zion! Man should protect and 
preserve innocent, pure womanhood. No woman 
can sin as deeply as a man, for she does not bear 
the same responsibility. If men expect to stand 
at the head of their families, let them see to it 
that they are without sin of speech or action. 
That which is a sin in a woman, becomes a 
crime in a man. Teach your sons to protect their 
virtue as they would their lives, and then there 
need be no fear of their assailing any woman. God 
loves these weak ones as well as we do, and He 
will overrule all things for the best to such as are 



SEGO-LILIES 343 

sinned against and are thereby brought down into 
sin. Only let the parents so conduct themselves 
that their children will receive the benefit of their 
lives of purity and holiness, and all their tears of 
grief will be turned into joy in the hereafter." 

Diantha felt the whole weight of this terrible 
lesson pressing upon her own sad heart, and it 
nearly crushed her with a double burden of grief. 
She wondered how she could ever for one mo- 
ment have looked lightly upon her past actions 
and words, wherein she had said and thought it 
no wrong to turn away from the Gospel and 
marry out of the Church. She asked herself bit- 
terly whether a part of Ellen's guilt did not lie 
at her own door, for had she not given some 
measure of idle encouragement to this same sol- 
dier, and had she not said many foolish things 
and thought many vain, silly thoughts? She felt 
how inadequate were the theories of the world re- 
garding love and its proper place in our lives, and 
she saw how foolish ideals and romantic poems 
and plays had rendered her conception of love 
fevered and unreal. She saw, while sitting near 
the dead body of her friend with its pitiful lesson, 
that love that is, the romantic, unreasoning pas-, 
sion which is so often called love is nothing but a 
base counterfeit. She felt that if love ruled the 
world, it must be the love of God and that love 
which is founded on respect and built in unselfish- 
ness. She could see that a base, vile passion which 



344 JOHN STEVENS' COURTSHIP 

has for its only object the gratification of bodily 
desire, was a thing to fear and shun. 

Diantha had filled the cold, lifeless hands of 
her dear friend with the sego-lilies, wreathing 
them about the neck, thus to hide the story told 
by the bandaged throat; but she saw how useless 
in eternity would be the least attempt to hide 
away the sins and shame of mankind. 

"Oh, that I could tear away the lilies, and show 
to every girl in Zion the awful consequences of 
disobedience and vanity," she thought, as the 
strong, vivid words of President Young showed 
her the darkness of the abyss into which her own 
eyes had for one moment looked with fascinated 
gaze. 

"Oh, that I could set this poor, desecrated body 
before every young woman in Israel, and let it 
preach its own heartrending sermon ! And I, too, 
am I not saved as by fire? Oh, my gracious 
Father, forgive me and let a lifetime of repent- 
ance and faithfulness prove to Thee how humble 
and how dependent I am!" So prayed Diantha, 
as the benediction was being pronounced by the 
Bishop in charge. While the pale sego-lilies, with 
their purple stains, drooped and died on the breast 
of the dead girl ! 




XXXIX 
THE WOOING O'T 

|HREE years is but a fleeting season to the 
mature, and is as a day to the aged ; but 
to youth three years stretch out with ap- 
parent never-ending length. Three years 
of rapid history had been written in Utah since 
that vivid day in the tops of the mountains when 
A. O. Smoot, Porter Rockwell and Judson Stod- 
dard had brought to the happy camp the terrible 
news of the coming of Johnston's army. Three 
years! Camp Floyd with its surging life, its fre- 
quent deaths, and its story of blunder and pathos 
had passed into history. The site where it once 
stood now lay desolate and burning beneath the 
hot summer sun. Weeds covered the rude foun- 
dations of the adobe and tented homes, and only 
the lonely prairie dog frequented the once busy 
streets. The soldiers had departed to the East, 
secession having already begun to rear its hor- 
rid shape, and only for the rich stores of a 
hundred rare comforts which they had sold in 
their hurried departure for less than a song, 
would anyone remember their unhappy visit. 

Two years of peace and plenty had built up the 
village of the Great Salt Lake into a modest in- 



346 JOHN STEVENS' COURTSHIP 

land city. The trees along the sidewalks were 
heavy now with July verdure. The busy hum of 
industry throbbed in even beats along the city's 
arteries. The blacksmith whistled at his forge. 
The well-bucket creaked merrily in its frequent 
passage to the cool waters beneath, and the chil- 
dren sang as they went to and fro to school, or 
lingered in the shade of the cottonwood trees. It 
was the evening before the Fourth of July, 1860, 
and the hands of maid and matron were busy in 
swift preparation for such a celebration of local 
peace and prosperity as had not been theirs for 
years. 

"Have you noticed what a change there is in 
Dian, the last year?" said Rachel Winthrop to 
Aunt Clara, as the two stood ironing in Aunt 
Clara's cosy kitchen. 

"How changed?" asked Aunt Clara. 

"Oh, she's so much softer and sweeter to every- 
body, and she is really making herself the friend 
of every poor girl in the ward. Why, I told her 
brother the other day that Diantha looked like 
another girl ; she is so changed. She wants to do 
so much for me, and she is so good to the chil- 
dren, and you know that is unlike what she used 
to be. She was not unkind, only indifferent. She 
didn't show me much friendship, even if I was 
her sister-in-law, for I think she thought herself 
a little better and smarter than I. But she is 
mighty good to me now, and I love her a thousand 



THE WOOING O'T 347 

times better for it, although I always loved her 
and was proud of her." 

"I don't find Diantha is changed," answered 
Aunt Clara's gentle voice. "Don't you think that 
it is only that some of her latent powers and gifts 
are beginning to be developed? And then she has 
always been a reserved young lady, and while 
never uncivil or haughty, she is undemonstrative, 
and as young people are, concerned only with life 
as it affected her." 

"Ah, Aunt Clara, you are always thinking the 
best of everybody. You never can sec any fault in 
any one." 

"Maybe I see the fault, but I see so much of the 
virtue mixed up with it that it quite obscures the 
small defect. I often think the latent possibilities, 
if once they are waked up in any soul, will lead us 
to eternal perfection. It is only that some natures 
are never awakened ; but they go on and on, asleep 
in their inner souls, and only the body is awake 
and alive." 

"Well, I have proved that God will help even 
the weakest of us to improve and get strong, if 
we will continually seek Him for help and light. 
Of course, any one as strong as Diantha will nat- 
urally be mighty good or pretty mean." 

"Well, to me Diantha has always been one of 
the sweetest, strongest, and purest of girls. She 
is somewhat impulsive, but she has such admi- 
rable control of herself, people call it common- 



348 



sense, that she rarely does anything silly or even 
unwise. And whoever saw her mean or small? 
She has had and still has faults, but they are like 
her own self, never small or spiteful. She loves 
deeply when she does love. Out of the fires of 
affliction, poor, proud motherless Diantha is ris- 
ing to a higher, purer and more consecrated life. 
The death of Ellen has taught her to conform 
her life more to the standards of Christ and less 
to the promptings of a self-centered heart. She 
will make a grand woman, and a noble wife and 
mother." 

"I don't know about the wife and mother. She 
is twenty-four now, and she has refused at least 
a dozen good, true men. I think she is going to 
be an old maid." 

"Not she! She is waiting for a man as great, 
as noble and as pure-minded as herself. A great 
many men, as well as a great many women, are 
virtuous in action because they fear society or 
God's punishment. But Dian is pure in every 
thought and every act. Nothing low or vile could 
so much as reach her outer personality. She is 
well-educated and as intelligent as a girl of her 
age could well be. Why should she not demand 
that same exalted standard in her husband?" 

"Oh, well, I guess she will go through the 
woods and pick up with a crooked stick at last, 
as mother used to tell us girls. Lots of our finest 
girls marry men who, while good enough, are in- 



THE WOOING O'T 349 

ferior to themselves. I often wonder what they 
do it for?" 

"God has some life lesson for them to learn. The 
Bishop says that's the way Nature evens up 
things. What you say is true oftentimes, but I am 
not going to have it so of our Dian. The voice of 
the Spirit has manifested to me many times that 
she will have a man as great and as gifted as her- 
self." 

"Say, talking of Dian's beaus, they say John 
Stevens will be home sometime this week from his 
mission to Europe. He has been away ever since 
Ellen's death. I thought at one time he liked our 
Dian, but I guess it was Ellen. He has taken 
her death very much to heart." 

"John can love more than once, if he finds the 
right kind of a woman. He has a soul as big as all 
eternity. But he grieves as deeply as he loves." 

Aunt Clara was not surprised, therefore, several 
evenings after this conversation, to see John Stev- 
ens step under her doorway; his tall head reach- 
ing nearly to her doorpost. 

"I knew you would come to see me first thing, 
John, and I am glad you did. It does me so much 
good to see you." And she greeted him warmly. 

John sat down, his eyes somewhat weary with 
long nights of wakefulness, for he was captain of 
the company of emigrants, and his limbs were 
worn with much travel across the seas and plains. 



350 JOHN STEVENS' COURTSHIP 

"I knew you would have some fried cakes and 
milk for me when I did come, Aunt Clara. I won- 
der if I came for fried cakes?" and he laughed in 
his low, soft undertone, as he held up one of the 
nutty brown, crisp cakes to admire its homely 
charm before he tested it further. 

"You have come, John, to tell me all about your 
mission, and I want you to tell me something 
more. Rachel Winthrop was in here this after- 
noon, and we got to talking about our poor Ellen. 
She made a remark about your grieving over El- 
len, and it struck me, too, that you have been 
grieving these two long years. I don't want you 
to do that, for Ellie is all right now, she has paid 
the penalty with her life. Now, John, that you 
are home, you must find some good girl, and 
marry and settle down. You must be nearing 
thirty, and it is very unusual for our young men 
to live so long single." 

John had pushed away his plate, and left all its 
homely charm, for Aunt Clara's words had 
choked him with crowding memories. He sat still 
for some time, with his head in his hands. Aunt 
Clara watched him as she rocked back and forth, 
and wondered if she had for once been at fault. 
After a time, however, he raised his heacl and 
said, with an effort at lightness : 

"I am not much of a fellow, Aunt Clara. Some- 
times I do feel a bit lonely, and although I have 
enjoyed my mission, the thought of my home- 



THE WOOING O'T 351 

coming has been a lonely one, except for you, 
Aunt Clara." 

"Well, of course you are lonesome, John, and 
that's why I want you, now that you are home 
from your mission, to get married, and have some 
comfort in life." 

His head was drooped again, between his hands, 
and he said slowly : 

"Aunt Clara, I have been a selfish one-idea 
fellow in my life. I deserve all your reproach and 
my own loneliness." 

"Now, John, I want you to tell me just what 
you mean. You have something in your mind 
which needs airing. What is it?" 

"I mean that from my earliest youth I have 
loved, with all the strength of my heart, a girl who 
never has and never will, I fear, care anything for 
me. For some years I felt that I could win her, 
through prayer and faith, and I hoped and was 
happy. But I did not succeed. I have tried to 
hide my feelings, though, and I don't think any- 
one has suspected me, unless it was the girl her- 
self, occasionally." 

"John, there is a belongingness in love as in 
life. We are not married by chance. I firmly be- 
lieve that each has made covenant with his mate 
in the life before this. If that girl belongs to you, 
you will get her. If not, you don't want her. 
Who is it?" 

"It is Dian." 



352 JOHN STEVENS' COURTSHIP 

He spoke with an effort, as if it were painful 
thus to speak her name. 

"Oh !" Aunt Clara was not much surprised. 

"What about Ellie?" she asked. 

"I loved Ellen, but it was not as I love Dian. 
Maybe I have so set my heart all my life upon 
getting Dian that I did not give myself a chance 
to see other girls. Aunt Clara, forget that I have 
ever said what I am about to say; but I had a 
feeling that Ellen liked me. And I have felt all 
the remorse natural that I did not save her while 
I could." 

"We can always see where we could do better, 
even in small things. But no one need destroy all 
hopes of eternity because love is not returned or 
because a loved one dies. This love plays such 
mischief, when it is not understood and gov- 
erned !" 

"Just so. I have failed to conquer my love, and 
it leaves me sore with defeat." 

"Why should you conquer your love? Have 
you ever asked Dian to have you? Diantha is a 
noble girl; she is always so strong, so sweet, and 
so good." 

"Don't I know it?" almost groaned John, as he 
pressed his hands across his eyes. 

"Look here, John, I don't believe for one mo- 
ment that God would let as prayerful a man as 
you waste years of your life upon a useless love. 
How do you know that Dian does not love you as 



THE WOOING O'T 353 

well as you love her? Oh, mated love is such bliss- 
ful, such divine joy!" 

John shook his head, slowly. 

"I don't want to think, John Stevens, that you 
are a coward. Go to that girl, and tell her what 
you feel, and trust God for the result. See here: 
You go into the front room, and I will bring Dian- 
tha over in two minutes. I will tell her you are 
in there, and if she wants to see you she will go 
in of her own accord. If she does not want to 
see you she can easily refuse to go in, and then I 
hope you will give her up and put your mind off 
the subject at once and forever." 

Aunt Clara slipped out as she said the last 
words, and John waited for some time in moody, 
unhopeful silence, until he heard the two voices 
as they came into the yard. He sprang up, and 
put himself into the dark front room, its shad- 
ows only lifted here and there by the moonlight 
through the window casing. 

Through the open door he saw Dian come in, 
her face aglow with a merry smile with which 
she listened to Aunt Clara's soft tones. Her 
white teeth gleamed like even pearls, and her red 
lips parted over them in the well-remembered 
bewitching ripples of laughter. Her bright eyes 
were wide and uplifted with clearest radiance. His 
eager eyes noted the gleam of her yellow hair, 
parted above the wide, white brows, and then 
lingered on the rich rose upon her cheek, and 

23 



354 JOHN STEVENS' COURTSHIP 

lighted upon the full, round chin, which he said to 
himself was like a cleft rose bud. The tender white 
throat rose up from her proud shoulders with a 
wondrous grace, and her soft and rounded arms 
were white under the soft muslin sleeve. She stood 
a moment unconscious of any gaze or presence, 
other than Aunt Clara's, and he wondered with 
a silent agony what expression would sweep over 
her expressive face when Aunt Clara made her 
disclosure. 

"Diantha, John Stevens came home today." 

The cheeks were drained of all their beautiful 
color, but the girl's voice was steady as she said 
simply, "Did he?" 

"Yes ; and he has been here to sec me." 

"Oh !" 

John did not see the tense clasp of the fingers, 
he saw only the calm quiet of her face. Was it 
the quiet of displeasure? 

He felt guilty, thus to watch her unconscious 
betrayal of self, but he told himself savagely that 
a man has a right to see the face of his execu- 
tioner. 

"John would like to see you, Dian." Aunt Clara 
waited a moment, then she said quietly : "He is in 
the front room. If you would like to see him, go 
in there and have a talk with him." 

The girl stood a moment, with her tightly 
clasped hands, and her hesitation seemed like a 
year of suspense to the heart watcnlng her from 



THE WOOING O'T 355 

the other room, and then, with a little, half-troub- 
led smile upon her lips at Aunt Clara, the girl 
glided into the other room, and, sheltered as well 
as blinded by its partial shadows, she closed the 
door behind her. She was so near the man that her 
muslin sleeve rested upon his arm. 

He felt suffocated with that blissful touch, and 
he stood, silent, wordless, as if deprived of the 
powers of speech. She, too, felt his nearness, al- 
though she could see nothing, and she stood un- 
certain which way to go. Then she threw up her 
hand as if to shield herself, and she touched his 
cold cheek, and felt the silken mustache beneath 
her fingers. He snatched her hand and held it to 
his lips, its warmth and purity stilling, for a mo- 
ment, the trembling of his soul. At last he took 
it away, and putting it upon his face, rested his 
cheek within its sweet cup, as if thus all sorrow 
were done forever. She stood silent, waiting, and 
as voiceless as himself. 

This unbroken, sweet encouragement was al- 
most more than he could bear; he was so unpre- 
pared for it, and it had all come so suddenly. After 
a moment, he reached out, and finding her so 
near, he laid his arm about her waist, and as she 
said nothing, he drew her to him with a close, 
tender embrace, and laying his own face down 
upon the soft hair, he held her to his throbbing 
heart in speechless bliss. 

Neither knew how long they stood thus, so 



356 JOHN STEVENS' COURTSHIP 

perfect was their peace. At last, he drew her face 
up to him, and whispered in her ear so close that 
his breath stirred all the tiny curls around her 
neck: 

"Is it love, dear, or sympathy?" 

For answer, she laughed softly, and putting her 
arms around his neck of her own accord, she 
murmured : 

"It is my love, my life, John." 

Words were too weak; he drew her face upon 
his shoulder, and in the shadowy silence, he put 
his big, rough hand under her rounded chin, and 
thus drawing up her mouth to his own bent lips, 
he told her with that long, wordless caress all the 
pent-up story of his life and its passion. He drew 
her to the casement, and in the flood of moon- 
light pouring in, he stood away for a moment and 
looked at her with his hungry eyes, as if he must 
make sure if she were real. He gloried in her 
beauty, for he loved all things beautiful and per- 
fect of their kind; and he noted each gracious 
charm of face and form as he pinioned her arms 
down that he might hold her from fleeing away 
from his loving possession. 

"So strong, so sweet, so pure," he murmured 
under his breath; "and all mine, mine for time 
and the long eternity !" 

She laughed again, a little, happy, yet modest 
laugh, as she saw the gleam of adoration which 
lit her lover's eyes as he gazed down upon her in 



THE WOOING O'T 357 

the moonlight, and then she struggled to free 
herself, as she remonstrated softly: 

"You are not to hold me at arm's length, sir." 

For answer, he caught her to him, and with his 
lips upon hers, he vowed to hold her in his heart 
of hearts forever and forever. 

Presently, after what seemed to them a few 
moments of silence and sweet peace, Diantha 
lifted her head from his breast, and said: 

"Come, John, Aunt Clara will wonder at our be- 
ing in here without a light. Come, let us go out 
and thank her." 

"Wait one moment, my girl." But she insisted, 
and together they opened the door, and stood with 
modest assertion of their love before their dearest 
friend. 

John held his arm around the girl, as if fearing 
she might change her mind when once in the light, 
and observed by other eyes. 

"This John of mine is a queer John, Aunt 
Clara," said Diantha, merrily, her breath quick 
with the joy of her expressed ownership in the 
big fellow beside her ; "he seems to think, because 
I am glad to see him, that he can domineer over 
me, and he has kept me in there nearly half an 
hour, simply to tell him that I am glad he has got 
home." 

"Half an hour?" asked Aunt Clara, dryly; "you 
two have shut yourselves up in there for over two 
hours. It 's after ten o'clock." 



358 JOHN STEVENS' COURTSHIP 

"Why, John Stevens, I am ashamed of you," 
said the girl, with sparkling eyes and soft laugh- 
ter. 

"A man has a right to say how-do-you-do to 
his wife, hasn't he?" he said, gravely. 

"Oh, John, how could you?" breathed the girl; 
"how dare you speak so? You haven't asked me 
yet." 

"We will be married, Aunt Clara, and, please 
God, one month from today." 

"Oh, you John ! What impudence ! Aunt Clara, 
did you ever see anything like it? Here he has 
never courted me one bit in his life, and never 
even asked me to marry him, and now he takes 
the law into his own hands in that way!" 

John drew her closer to his side, with his encir- 
cling arm, and looking down into her eyes, he 
said: 

"Dear girl, I have been courting you in spirit 
all my life. Let me have my own way now, will 
you not?" 

His tone was so gentle, so tender, that she an- 
swered softly, yet still half-mischievously : 

"Well, Aunt Clara, I guess we will have to let 
him have his way. He is so big that he could 
crush us both if we didn't please him." 

Aunt Clara's eyes were moist with tears, as she 
watched them. She rejoiced in their love, and she 
was content that she had helped a little. But as 
they started out of the door to leave her, and 



THE WOOING O'T 359 

Diantha came back to kiss her once more in token 
of love and gratitude, Aunt Clara's heart flew 
back to their lost Ellie, and all the sad, miserable 
story. She went to the door and watched them 
go out of the gate, Diantha still full of bubbling 
mischief, with her quick, pretty gestures of teas- 
ing indifference as she refused even to take John's 
arm in the bright moonlight it all brought back 
her Ellie's love for this same good man, and she 
turned back into her room with sobs in her throat ; 
and then she knelt in silent prayer for these two 
who had gone out from her home to their blessed 
future. 

As Diantha Winthrop herself knelt that night 
in her evening prayer, she poured out the wealth 
of her young heart in gratitude to God who had 
so magnified her life and its mission. After her 
prayer, she sat at her window and thought back 
on all the past, and she wondered anew that she 
could ever have called her lover cold, reserved or 
silent. His every look was pregnant with thought, 
and his presence was full of unspoken meanings. 
She could see how in her ignorant, thoughtless 
girlhood she could not appreciate him, as she 
could not appreciate the deep throbbing poems 
in the Bible until life opened them and sorrow 
put into her hand the secret key to their mysteries. 

She had grown up to John now, and she won- 
dered how it was that she could ever have per- 
mitted ordinary men to come near her. He was a 



360 JOHN STEVENS' COURTSHIP 

king! Proud, intelligent, pure! With the wide- 
open eyes of experience, she recognized his match- 
less manhood and bowed down in mighty prayer 
that she might prove worthy of his love. 



XL 

JOHN BUILDS A HOME 

HHAT was a busy month, and everybody 
in the neighborhood insisted on doing 
something for the coming wedding. 
John bought a lot not far from Aunt 
Clara's home, and although it had only one log 
room on it for a house, he soon had a large front 
room added to it, and he put up a small lean-to for 
kindlings and wood. He did not propose, he said 
to himself, that his wife should have an unnec- 
essary step to walk, and with that same thought, 
he dug a new well close to the kitchen door. 

He put a good paling fence in front of the 
house, and promised himself that he would very 
soon replace the brush fence on the south side of 
the lot with a new one, to match the front. 

How many times he peeped into the large front 
room, with its new, white pine floor, and its huge 
fire-place, and wondered how he could wait until 
the days were gone and Dian was there to fill every 
nook and corner with radiance. He wished he had 
time to pull down the old part and put up an 
adobe room, but that must needs wait for the fu- 
ture. He planted, with patient care, several vines 
around the front "door stoop," for he knew Dian 



362 JOHN STEVENS' COURTSHIP 

loved flowers and green things. And with what 
infinite pleasure at the last, he watched the put- 
ting down of carpets, bright new rag ones, that 
Dian and her sister-in-law and other friends had 
been busy getting made for the happy time of her 
wedding day. She and Aunt Clara came a day or 
so before the wedding and cleaned everything to 
spotless whiteness. 

In the window Dian hung simple, unbleached 
muslin curtains with crocheted edge, which she 
had spent many days in bleaching. But they still 
retained enough of the original creamy tint to 
soften the plastered walls of shining white. Un- 
der one window Dian set a small pine table, paint- 
ed red in imitation of mahogany, which held her 
three only books, one her Bible, a beloved Book of 
Mormon, and a prized copy of Shakespeare, which 
had in some way come into her possession. Un- 
der the other window was a square box, which 
John had fitted with hinges and a good lid, and 
Dian had stuffed the lid top with wool and then 
covered it with a pretty piece of cotton print and 
had hung a valence of the print around under the 
lid. This made a comfortable seat, and that was 
necessary, as chairs were rare and expensive. In- 
side the box-seat she had folded her modest store 
of linen. 

Over the huge fireplace John had put a low, 
broad mantle, and Dian set upon the shelf her 
precious clock, which was one of the few things 



JOHN BUILDS A HOME 363 

owned by her mother that she now possessed. On 
each side of the clock were two brass candle- 
sticks polished like gold, and filled with tall, yel- 
low tallow candles. Most precious of all prized 
treasures, John had bought the small melodion 
from Bishop Winthrop, who was now in posses- 
sion of a new organ for his music-loving family. 
John loved the dear old melodion, out of whose 
slender case his beloved young wife would weave 
great color waves of sound and harmony; while 
to him alone she would now sing "Kathleen, mav- 
ourneen, the day dawn is breaking!" Ah, how he 
loved music and beauty and love ! No one but God 
knew how he loved them ! 

A few chairs, the old-fashioned bed in the cor- 
ner, a box which they called a trunk, and which 
had also an edged cover of white to hide its plain 
look, and the modest room was furnished. John 
had filled in the fire-place with spicy evergreens 
from the canyons, and he had searched the hills 
for the last columbines, which stood on the mantle 
shelf, their creamy whiteness falling into the 
bright color tone of the pretty room. 

As John stood within its sacred precincts the 
night before he was to be married, he thought 
how the glorious presence of his beautiful wife 
would make it a haven of rest and happiness. He 
walked into the neat kitchen, and noted how. 
carefully Dian had arranged their scanty, pioneer 
store of dishes, three plates, three cups and sau- 



364 JOHN STEVENS' COURTSHIP 

cers, three bowls and a vegetable dish all these 
had been placed up in brave show against the 
board he had nailed at the back of the shelves. 
The small cook-stove, called a "step stove," he 
was especially proud of, for it was a great luxury 
in those days. It shone with a brilliant lustre, and 
the few pots and pans belonging to it were hung 
upon the wall behind the stove with housewifely 
precision. He bent his face over the flowers in 
the kitchen windows, and whispered to himself 
that the delicate pinks were like Dian's cheeks, 
and their perfume was her breath. 

As he finished his survey, he turned into the 
front room, and kneeling down, he offered, for the 
last time, his lonely evening prayer. He prayed 
that God would make him gentle, and worthy of 
such happiness, while he asked earnestly for the 
strength to love his religion well enough to put 
God first, and wife and home after. But even as 
he prayed, the voice of inspiration whispered in 
his soul, that wife and home, if rightly understood, 
are religion, and God was pleased with the man 
who could be worthy of them. 




XLI 

DIANTHA ENTERS 

F time permitted, it would be pleasant to 
tell of the merry wedding, and of the 
delicately mocking charm with which 
Diantha held her lover at arm's length, 
all that long, happy day. She was as winsome as 
a sprite, and as elusive. She had a thousand ex- 
cuses to leave him to his own devices, after they 
had returned from the early morning wedding in 
the Endowment House. She must see to the din- 
ner, for they were all at Aunt Clara's, who had 
insisted on getting the wedding dinner. So John 
folded his arms, after she had slipped from them 
at last, and quietly sat down by the window to 
read his book. She might go, she could never get 
away from him now, he reflected with a thrill of 
delight, and he could well afford to wait for her 
sure return. 

Dian peeped in occasionally to see if he was all 
right, for the company would be there soon, she 
said, and she was very anxious to see if his collar 
and necktie were perfectly straight. She came in, 
as she found that he did not seem to notice her, 
and playfully ordered him to arise and let her see 
if he was in perfect trim. He arose at her bidding, 



366 JOHN STEVENS' COURTSHIP 

and stood looking quizzically down upon her, as 
she took a number of unnecessary minutes to ar- 
range the already faultless collar and tie under 
the long beard. His eyes burned down into her 
uplifted, mocking blue orbs, but he said nothing, 
nor did he offer to touch her. 

"I am very glad, Mr. John, that you have 
learned to keep your arms from around me, for at 
least this afternoon, for you will have to learn, 
you great, big, awkward John, that muslin dresses 
are not to be shaken, nor are they to be taken in 
such careless hands as these," and she held his 
unresisting hand a moment, then deftly put it 
about her waist. 

He stooped down, and kissed her gravely upon 
the tender, red mouth, as if he found it impossible 
to resist his own forever. 

Then she drew back, and with a sudden as- 
sumption of dignity she said, "Don't you know 
that it is very rude to kiss a lady, unless you have 
properly courted her, and she has promised to 
marry you?" 

He laughed out of his eyes at her, and fell to 
stroking his long beard in the way she remem- 
bered so well. 

"Now, I am going to stay right here, Mr. John, 
to punish you for not seeming glad to see me 
just now." 

She sat down for a moment, but as John made 
as if to take her in his arms she sprang up, and 



DIANTHA ENTERS 367 

with a sudden elusive gesture, she put out her 
pretty toe from the front of her dress, and made 
him a deep curtsy, saying mockingly : 

"The lady must away to spread the feast of 
well, not reason but beef and chickens, and to 
thus assist the flow of well, not soul, but small 
talk. Adieu," and she swept him another low 
bow, and tripped to the door, where she paused a 
moment, and turning back she tossed him a pretty 
kiss from the pink tips of her dainty fingers, as she 
laughed: "None but the brave deserve the fair," 
and was gone. 

They had refused to have a dancing party, for 
both had still a deep, painful remembrance of 
the friend they had both loved and lost, and noth- 
ing but a simple gathering of the immediate fam- 
ily would they invite. As they left Aunt Clara's 
door that night after every guest had departed, 
Aunt Clara put her hands on their two shoulders, 
and with a silent tear in her eyes, she bade them, 
"Be true to God and each other," and they were 
alone at last with their wedded love and its pure, 
exquisite, heaven-ordained bliss. 

Dian walked very primly down the midnight 
streets with her young husband, refusing to al- 
low him to attempt to put his arm about her waist. 

"You know it is exceedingly bad taste for peo- 
ple to show any affection in public; and even if 
you were to offer as an excuse that it is very late 
and no one is about, you remember that as chil- 



368 JOHN STEVENS' COURTSHIP 

dren we have learned that we must do what is 
right whether there is any one to look at us or 
not. Eh?" 

John assented, allowing her to place the mer- 
est finger tip on his arm, and he walked gravely 
down the moonlit streets between Aunt Clara's 
house and their own dear little home, which they 
were about to enter for the first time together. 

Dian chatted and laughed nervously, asking and 
answering all sorts of questions, sometimes put- 
ting into John's mouth words he never would have 
uttered, for she said if he would not talk for him- 
self she must do the talking for both. Presently 
they reached their own lowly gate ; and he gravely 
held open the little wicket, for her to pass 
through. She stood with beating heart and quiet 
lips upon the small porch, while he unlocked the 
newly painted front door. And then she stood 
just inside the door, still silent, while John found 
and lighted the two candles on the mantle. 

Then with a quizzical look in the keen loving 
eyes, he said, softly: "Sister Stevens, will you 
come in and take possession of your home?" 

It was the first time she had ever heard herself 
so called, and she felt overpowered by all the 
blessed happiness the name implied. She stood a 
moment, and then put up her hands to cover the 
tears which would fill and overflow her eyes. The 
big fellow beside her waited a moment also, as if 
to make sure of the source of all these tears, and 



DIANTHA ENTERS 369 

then he put his hand gently upon her shoulder and 
whispered, "You are not sorry, dear?" 

"Oh, John," she sobbed, throwing her arms 
close about his neck, "I'm so happy that I must 
cry. Don't mind, it is only that I am so grateful 
to God for you and your dear love. To think, 
John, that I am yours, your true wife, for time and 
for all eternity," and she sighed with a happy, 
half-sobbing sigh, as she ceased her crying, and 
drew his face down to her own that she might 
kiss him on the lips, she said, to begin her mar- 
ried life aright, giving him always, first and last, 
her best loving devotion. 

Then Dian opened the lid of her little organ, 
and played an evening hymn, while John watched 
her shining eyes and tender mouth as she offered 
up for them both a hymnal of praise in their new 
home. After the last note they both bowed in 
solemn prayer before the Throne of Grace! 



24 



XLII 
HOME, SWEET HOME 

a HE next morning, Diantha began at once 
with housewifely care to clean and 
sweep her treasured dwelling. She 
scrubbed the kitchen floor, already white 
and new; she polished the shining brass candle- 
sticks; she scoured the new tins, and as she 
worked she sang with gay abandon. There was 
song in her heart, and it could not but bubble up 
to her lips. 

These small chores were done all too soon ; then 
she dusted and arranged her modest belongings in 
the dainty "front room." After everything was 
carefully "put to rights," she looked with the hap- 
py eyes of ownership at the box, a plain, darkly- 
painted one, which had come clear from New 
England to Nauvoo, and which held all her hus- 
band's belongings. She would go through that, 
she said to herself, and see if there were any little 
bits of mending to do, for of course John had no 
mother to take care of his things. 

She found everything folded with as exquisite 
neatness and care as she herself could have given 
them, and in the small wooden "till" she discov- 
ered many a little treasure. There were his small 
Bible and Book of Mormon, which he always 
carried when out on his trips, with a small rubber 



HOME, SWEET HOME 371 

cup, also one of his traveling necessities. There 
was a box of needles, pins, and cotton which Dian 
appropriated gleefully, whispering to her own 
happy heart that her dear John should never need 
to put them to use again. She carefully brushed 
and folded away all the modest stores of clothing, 
and then she came to a small packet, on the bot- 
tom of the trunk, and wrapped up in a paper 
which was marked "Private." 

It never occurred to Dian, for she was not much 
of a novel-reader, that there was anything mys- 
terious in the packet ; she knew her lover husband 
too well. She laid that out on the stand under the 
window, for she wanted John, himself, to show 
her all its contents, and she knew he would. 

Ah, the happiness of that morning, for that 
blessed girl ! Who could portray the bliss of her 
soul! It was a simple thing, the opening of a 
homely box, filled with homely articles, but they 
were the precious belongings of the one man in all 
creation to that girl-wife, and she felt that the lit- 
tle act, t simple as it was, represented her taking 
formal possession of John and all that he could 
ever own. He was hers now, as perfectly as she 
was his. 

John came in and found her on the floor, still 
dreaming over her future. 

"Well?" he asked. 

"Oh, John, I have just been looking over all 
your things; and I am so happy." 



372 JOHN STEVENS' COURTSHIP 

John did not exactly see what there was in so 
little a thing as that to give her so much joy, but 
saying nothing, as usual, he sat down and held out 
his arms for her to come to him. Then she 
brought the little packet, and with one of his 
quiet smiles, John unwrapped the little parcel and 
showed her his choicest treasures. 

"Oh, yes," she exclaimed, as she held up a 
small, rather indistinct daguerreotype of herself 
and Ellen with their arms fixed primly around 
each other. 

"I remember that," and her eyes streamed with 
sad tears in memory of Ellen. "I have one just 
like it. How did you get one? Aunt Clara has 
Ellie's." 

"I bought it," laconically answered John. 

Dian cried a moment, and then he gave her the 
four letters he had put away as the most precious 
of all his keepsakes. There was one from the 
Prophet Joseph Smith to his dead father, one 
from President Brigham Young to himself, one 
from his sainted mother, and a tiny little note of 
her own, written when she was only a girl of 
fourteen. 

"Why, John, what on earth have you kept that 
little scrawling note for? I can just remember 
writing it to you in school one day, in answer to 
your own written invitation to go to a party." 

"It is the only line you ever wrote to me, how 
can I help keeping it?" 



HOME, SWEET HOME 373 

"John," she said, facing him and looking him in 
the eyes, "do you mean to tell me that you liked 
me away long ago, when I was a little girl?" 

He had never told her the story which he had 
confided to Aunt Clara. So he did not answer 
at once, but at length said, in his most drawling 
fashion : 

"Do you think I would ask a girl to go to a 
party if I did not like her?" 

"Now, John dear, you are not going to bother 
me in that way. I want you to tell just how long 
you have liked me, you know, loved me, in a real- 
ly truly way?" 

It seemed to cost John a little effort to answer, 
for he loved silence, especially when he was put 
upon the witness stand. However, he answered 
at last, taking her face between his hands as he 
spoke, and kissing both pink cheeks : 
' "I think I have loved you, sweetheart, since we 
sang together with the morning stars and shouted 
in unison with our companions when the founda- 
tions of this earth were laid." 

"But on this earth, John; what about this 
earth?" 

"Well, I can hardly answer. If you were to ask 
me when I did not love you, I could tell you 
never. Ever since I saw you, a tiny, silver-haired 
tot of a girl, I felt that you were apart and sep- 
arate from everything human for me, and I loved 
you." 



374 JOHN STEVENS' COURTSHIP 

John, with his every-day clothes on, was out in 
the lot daily that fall, plowing and planting for his 
little wife. He said little. John never was a 
talker; but he proved by his constant labors that 
no unnecessary task should be put upon the slen- 
der hands of his wife. Wood, kindlings why, 
Diantha used to laugh and say that John was get- 
ting in a supply to last five years. Gentle assist- 
ance also he often silently rendered in her many 
household tasks. She used to order him away, but 
he knew the feet must get weary, after a hard 
day's work ; and Diantha had much to do, to spin, 
weave, color and prepare their clothes for the 
coming winter. Outside her door, the yard was 
packed, and wetted dov/n, and swept, until Di- 
antha declared she could trail her wedding dress 
over it without harm. 

It was amusing to see him out at his work, driv- 
ing his team across and around the lot ; and then, 
when Diantha came out, as she very often did, 
singing as she came, he would stop and look over 
at her with a gleam of rapturous love in his eyes, 
while he would wait until she threw the dainty 
kiss she was sure to toss before she went inside 
the house. Sometimes he could not resist the 
spell, and tying up his team he would saunter af- 
ter her, and once at the door, stand wiping his 
brow meditatively. 

"John Stevens," she would cry, "what have you 
left your work for, and what do you want, sir?" 



HOME, SWEET HOME 375 

And then he would go up, and putting his hand 
under her chin, he would draw up her face to his 
own bent lips and kiss her saucy red lips, while 
he said sometimes, in answer to her mocking ques- 
tion, "I only want to look at my wife." 

Then she would be silenced, for that sweet 
word "wife" always poured over her soul such a 
flood of happiness that she could not speak for 
a time. At other times John would beg his wife 
to sing him one song, or to thread a tune on the 
mystic ivory keys, and he would let his soul go 
out to God and his wife on the sound-waves that 
beat upon his throbbing breast. Ah, John had 
much to thank God for, and he knew it! 

One Sabbath day, as usual, they both dressed 
in their simple, homely best, and together walked 
up to the Tabernacle ; Diantha felt as if she were 
walking upon air. She looked up at her big, sober, 
gentle, masterful and yet tender husband, and she 
knew there was not his superior in all Zion. How 
proudly she sat in the congregation while John 
paced his slow way to the stand, for he had lately 
been appointed to an important position in the 
Church. Her heart echoed every word of the ring- 
ing homely hymn, "Do What Is Right," and she 
thanked God that she had been helped by His 
matchless power to follow the simple but noble 
advice. 

Elder Orson Pratt, who spoke, dwelt upon some 
of the peculiar beliefs of the Saints, and then 



376 JOHN STEVENS' COURTSHIP 

launched out upon the great topic of marriage, 
and spoke with mighty power upon the eternity 
of the marriage covenant. Diantha's heart swelled 
with rapture to know that she and John had been 
sealed by the power and authority of the Priest- 
hood for time and for all eternity. And to think 
that three short months ago she had been so full 
of grave misgivings as to whether John would 
ever seek her again, for he had made no sign for 
the two whole years of his missionary life ! How 
she had grown in these two years, to love the 
sound of his slow, drawling voice, the glance of 
his keen, beautiful, yet gentle eyes. How ardent- 
ly she listened to the mere mention of his name by 
others. She would sit with her heart all a-tremble 
if his name were being discussed. And now to 
think he was all her own! For time and for all 
eternity ! Oh, God, what bliss divine ! 

The speaker touched upon the privileges of par- 
ents who bear children under the new and ever- 
lasting covenant. What a thrill of joy swept 
over her as she thought that she would some day 
be mother to John's children! Her heart almost 
ceased its beating for a moment, it was so new and 
so beautiful to think of. She looked up at John 
as the thought came, and he must have been led 
to the same reflection, for he had turned from 
the speaker and was looking at her with a love in 
his eyes which she could see from where he sat; 
and she colored, half with joy, half with modest 



HOME, SWEET HOME 377 

shrinking, as she dropped her eyes and sat still 
for a moment. 

"John," she said, as they were walking home at 
noon, "what a beautiful sermon Brother Pratt 
preached this morning." 

"Yes," assented John. 

"And, John, what a happy thought, that I that 
we that I, that" 

John could not speak, he was too full of emotion 
to say a word; but when they had entered their 
own door, and closed themselves from the gaze 
of the public, he took her in his arms and held 
her close to his own throbbing heart, and said in 
her ear, "The mother of my children. For time 
and in all eternity." 

Let us leave them now. We like the last view 
of our friends to be the brightest and best. This 
much, however, must be told, that John and Di- 
antha are as happy today, although in the whit- 
ened years of old age and long experience, as they 
were in those early days of their newly wedded 
love. 

One day when I asked John to tell me about 
his courting days, he answered gravely, putting 
his arms around the motherly shoulders of his 
wife: 

"Why, I have just begun to court my wife. It 
takes a man a long time to get ready, and then 
the courting, to be well done, must never end, but 
continue throughout the long eternities." 



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